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As if to rival Brendon McCullam who achieved his 100 test match record in the cricket test against Australia currently being played, broodmare gem Chaangerr (Vance Hanover / Nell’s Pride) achieved a feat rarely heard of in the horse racing industry. She has produced 10 individual winners, who between them have won an incredible 100 races. What is just as amazing is that her progeny have amassed stake earnings of $2,889,229. A family that has been prolific in many ways, producing such stars on the track as: *Chokin, a dual Auckland Cup & Miracle Mile winner & NZ Cup winner (1.56.2h, 26 wins 7 places $1,240,098) *Fly Like An Eagle, a 5-time Group 1 winner, 2yo Jewels, NZ Derby & 3yo Breeders Crown winner (1.53.9, 11 wins 5 places $511,026) *Changeover a NZ Cup winner in World Record Time, 6-time Group 1 winner and successful sire (1.53.4h, 29 wins $2,426,765) Now the family has now produced a star in the matrons paddock. Chaangerr herself was a top racing filly and mare, winning 6 races, including a Fillies Series Heat, before going on to run 2nd in the Group 1 Final and she concluded her racing career with a win in the prestigious North Island Breeders Stakes, to subsequently be awarded the all-important NZ 4YO Pacing Mare of the Year title. Leading the way in her progeny on the racetrack has been Changeover, the winner of the 2008 NZ Cup, as well as two Derbies, two Harness Jewels and a Breeders Crown who has now gone on to be a successful sire. Other handy types Chaangerr has left include Change Time (1:56.2, 7 wins, $76,827) and Change Gear (1:54.4, 11 wins, $73,754). Currently Change Stride is doing an excellent job racing in Western Australia. He won at Gloucester Park on Friday night (12th February), bringing up win No. 100 for Chaangerr and he has won 10 of 15 starts this season alone, also clocking a career best 1:55.7 Mile Rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park and now has an impressive career record of 33 starts for 16 wins, 4 seconds and 4 thirds, for total earnings of $131,423. He is a ¾-brother to the first yearling to be offered for sale at this year’s round of NZ Yearling Sales. Lot 1 at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale on the 22nd February is an outstanding Rocknroll Hanover / Changedown filly. Changedown is a Falcon Seelster daughter of Chaangerr, who was unraced, but has started her career in the broodmare paddock with a bang. Her first foal, a filly by Christian Cullen, showed a lot of promise but had her racing career nipped in the bud with a horrific training accident injury. Her second foal is the Mach Three filly named Renske B who as a 2-year-old this season has won her only two trials and yesterday went on to be unbeaten in all her public appearances, with a win in the first of the 2YO Fillies Sires Stakes Heats. This filly sold at the 2015 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale for $30,000, so your chance to get into this prolific producing family is there to be had in Lot 1 this year, right from the get-go. She too looks set to continue the legacy established by Chaangerr, who is now enjoying her retirement on her co-owner, Rob Carr’s property in Karaka.  

It is not often these days with the availability of the top North American harness racing stallions down under that a lightly raced colonial stallion is given a shot at stud.  Several of the out and out New Zealand bred champions such as Changeover 1:53.4 ($2,426,654), Auckland Reactor 1:51.4 ($1,837,042) and Terror To Love 1:51 ($2,429,618) are being given every chance to prove themselves against their North American counterparts which makes sense as they were outstanding racehorses on the track. One colonial stallion who is also being given a chance at stud by New Zealand breeders is the very lightly raced son of Christian Cullen in Raging Bull 1:56.6 ($115,586) Raging Bull only faced the starter ten times in an injury plagued career for five wins and five seconds. Those five seconds were behind just three horses. Smolda 1:50.6 ($1,295,334), Ideal Scott 1:52.8 ($757,014) and Christen Me 1:49.1 ($2,325,592) are three of the best horses to have raced in Australasia in the last decade so Raging Bull certainly kept good company on the track. An $85,000 purchase at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, Raging Bull has a pedigree that screams 'Blue Blood' in spades. Raging Bull is a son of the champion New Zealand sire Christian Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,249,150) who has sired the winners of over $87,000,000 worldwide while standing in New Zealand which is a fantastic achievement. The dam of Raging Bull is the imported North American mare San Sophia 1:52.6 ($91,481) who has produced two in 1:53 including Private Joke 1:52.1 ($154,792). The daughter of Artsplace is a full sister to the champion North American mare Galleria 1:49.1 ($1,814,453) who has already produced Gallie By The Beach 1:49 ($686,165) and Western Gallie 1:51.2 ($334,233) while another full sister to San Sophia in National Gallery has produced Smithsonian 1:48.4 ($508,230) and Lorrie Please 1:50.2 ($558,774). So while he was lightly raced in New Zealand, he did tick a lot of boxes for breeders looking for value. Raging Bull served 32 mares in his first season at stud for 29 live foals which are currently yearlings. Two of his yearling colts have made it into this years New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch and both have plenty to recommend them on both pedigree and type. Both are being offered by Robert Famularo of Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd and both have mouth watering pedigrees behind them. Lot 264 is named Getarattleon and is the second foal from the Sands A Flyin mare Lady Moonlight. The first foal is the Santana Blue Chip two year old colt Blue Moon Rising who won the $31,000 New South Wales Sapling Stakes (Group3) at Menangle recently in 1:54.9 and is two from two in Australia to date. Lady Moonlight is from the 1:54.4 mare Sirius Flight who is the dam of Malak Uswaad 1:49.4 ($637,242) and Timeless Perfection 1:56.9 while the third dam is the former champion two and three year old filly in Pacific Flight 1:51.2 ($562,345). It is a stunning pedigree and with Blue Moon Rising going so well, there should be plenty of interest in Getarattleon. The second of the yearlings to be offered is Lot 412 and the colt is named Boy George. Boy George is the first foal from Soul Sister, a Presidential Ball half sister to the former champion three year old filly in Carabella 1:55.2 ($693,617) This is an outstanding North American family with such standouts as Athena Blue Chip 1:50.6 ($457,118) and Art's Chip 1:49.6 ($726,999) close up in Boy George's pedigree. Both colts are lovely types as well so their reception by buyers at Christchurch will be watched closely by a lot of breeders to see if a lightly raced colonial stallion can still make it in todays highly commercial market. Harnesslink Media

Talented  seven-year-old Monifieth slipped under the guard of most harness racing punters at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight. And the $18 shot slipped under the guard of boom five-year-old Bling It On as well, to snatch a last-stride victory in the $200,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint and secure the second spot, behind Lennytheshark in the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile later this month. Bling It On, who made a mid-race dash and found the front failed by a half head to hold off Monifieth although his second placing also assured him a start in the Miracle Mile. It was a race that always promised a close finish as Bettor Bet Back fired across from an outside barrier to find the front, despite the efforts of Mach Beauty to hold him out. Yet Mach beauty's driver Lauren Panella would have none of that and no sooner had Bettor Bet Black settled in the lead with a 26.4s opening quarter then Panella came around and snatched the lead back from him. That didn't last long either as Luke McCarthy [Bling It On] took off from midfield with about 800m to travel and wrested the lead away from Mach Beauty. All this time former Miracle Mile winning reinsman John McCarthy was smoking his pipe at the tail of the field with Monifieth and turning for home the pair made a long searching run down the middle of the track to grab victory in the final stride. That final split of 27s gave the winner a mile rate of 1:50.7 which would make Monifieth competitive in most Miracle Miles. "We've travelled with this horse [Monifieth] and to be honest he has gone pretty ordinary a few times on other tracks so his part-owner Kevin Jeavons and I hatched a plan a few weeks ago to stick with Menangle," said John McCarthy. "The Christian Cullen seven-year-old gelding can bump his knee a little bit, but he loves this long straight and always races well here at Menangle. "So this is where he'll be racing for the rest of his career. To jag a win like this makes it all worthwhile." Michael Court          

One thing that you will find in a lot of the older New Zealand maternal families is a crossover between pacing and trotting stallions in some generations Quite a lot of the successful stallions were just as liable to leave a trotter as a pacer if the maternal pedigree had left either in the past. It was seen as a positive by breeders and gave you a second bite at the cherry if the planned  pacing career didn't work out. The second dam of the champion Christian Cullen in Pleasant Evening is a great example as she is a half sister to one of the all time great Australian trotters in True Roman ($532,732) Several stallions that were imported in the 1970s and 1980s into New Zealand  were dual gaited. One of those was Crockett, a son of Diller Hanover who left 86 winners in New Zealand, sixty two of them trotters and twenty four of them pacers. The best of the trotters was the champion racemare in Thriller Dee (24 wins) while the best of the pacers was Bronze Trail (18 wins)  Today you will still find Crockett turning up in a lot of maternal pedigrees in New Zealand and probably the one that is most well known is that of Eagles Three. Eagles Three won five races and left four winners at stud but it is one of her lightly raced daughters in Skyhigh Eagle that really lifted the family. Skyhigh Eagle left seven winners including Eagles Together 1:52 ($375,900), Regal Eagle 1:54.4 ($129,378), Galactic Eagle 1:54.6 ($127,815) and the smart In The Pocket mare Sky Beauty 1:58.4 ($58,666) who has produced the three time Harness Jewels winner in Sky Major 1:51.5 ($772,844). The family is represented in this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka on February 22nd by Lot 21, Guilty Of The Crime. She is a daughter of Art Major from a three win full sister to Sky Beauty in Eagles In My Pocket which makes Guilty Of The Crime a full sister in blood to Sky Major. As the photos and video shows, she is  typical of the progeny of Art Major and with so many classy relatives up close, Guilty Of The Crime is sure to attract plenty of attention on sale day. The value of having dual gaited stallions appear in maternal pedigrees at yearling sales has been debated since their introduction but the results would suggest that they have greatly enhanced pedigrees overall. Harnesslink Media  

The legendary New Zealand Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Roy Purdon was all smiles last night as his promising two year old More The Better cemented favoritism for next Saturday's Sapling Stakes at Ashburton with a narrow but impressive victory in the  two year old race at Addington Raceway. The beautifully bred son of Bettor's Delight from a full sister to the former champion Christian Cullen was thought to be slightly underdone by his connections going into last nights race and was considered vulnerable to both his stablemate Pacing Major and the the Paul Court trained Mongolian Hero. Wide early for driver Tim Williams in the 1950 metres event, More The Better assumed control from Pacing Major and Ricky May at the 1300 metres and applied plenty of pressure, running the next two quarters under 30 seconds. Blair Orange brought Mongolian Hero out to challenge at the 600 metres and sat on More The Better's wheel and these three smart two year olds drew away to fight out the finish. Most of the way up the straight it appeared that first Mongolian Hero and then Pacing Major would get the better of More The Better but it was not to be with the colt proving too strong in a tight finish. Pacing Major was a head away second with a further head back to a very game Mongolian Hero. More The Better paced the 1950 metres in a very sharp 2:22.5, a mile rate of 1:57.5 with closing sectionals of 56.6 and 27.1. More The Better was purchased out of last years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch by Mark Purdon for $62,500 and he subsequently gifted his father a half share. Roy has since taken long time friend and racing partner David Levine into his share as well and it appears they are in for a big season with the colt. Last night Roy was struggling to remember the last time he had won a race as an owner at Addington. "Well its too long to be honest." "Probably back when Mark Roy was winning the Derby." " I won the Oaks down here with Pacific Flight about the same time." "David is very excited and I have to say it is great to win a race down there again," Roy said. The gap between drinks is significant with Mark Roy and Pacific Flight which were both co-owned by Roy winning the Derby-Oaks double in 1993 in the hands of Mark Purdon. Driver Tim Williams was suitably impressed with the winning effort. "It looked tight in the end but he was cruising half way down the straight and might have eased up a bit." "I expect he will go to the Sapling Stakes now," Tim said. With the Sapling Stakes only a week away,last nights three placegetters all gave their supporters plenty of encouragement heading forward to next weeks classic. Harnesslink Media    

Yesterday Harnesslink did a breeding article on the growing influence that mares by Christian Cullen were having on harness racing in New Zealand and how he had quickly risen to the top of the broodmare charts here. We drew attention to the progeny of a maiden Christian Cullen in Supremacy which had taken our eye on the pedigree page and on the video on PGG in this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka. What followed was a lot of our readers suggesting that there were several lots at this years round of sales that were on a par at least with the Lot we were highlighting.  “We wouldn't disagree with any of the comments in general but we are still of the view that as an all-round package, the Supremacy filly ticked all the boxes for us.” Another yearling in this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale whose name cropped up a lot in the correspondence we received on this issue was Beachbabebeauty. He had a number of people in his corner when it came to topline Christian Cullen mares now coming through at the sales. Lot 57 at this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale, Beachbabebeauty is a son of champion sire Somebeachsomewhere from the former champion Christian Cullen three year old filly in O Baby 1:54.8 (($391,273) and is her first foal. It would be hard to find fault with the pedigree page when you have the Broodmare Excellence award winner Tuapeka Star close up like she is. She produced four standouts in Iraklis 1:54.2 ($1,019,042), Blue And Royal 1:51.6 ($235,856), Ermis 1:59 ($191,868) and Braeside Seel Star 1:58.7 ($169,541) and the individual himself has that real Somebeachsomewhere look about him which is a big plus in our book. We would have no doubt that Beachbabebeauty will be keenly sought after on sale day as he has the pedigree and the type that attracts the top end buyers these days and deservedly so. In fact we wouldn't be surprised if Beachbabebeauty turned out to be one of the top priced lots at the Australasian sale. It would just be further confirmation to us that any stock from quality Christian Cullen mares are now drawing a premium at New Zealand sales. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale catalogue click here. Harnesslink Media  

Christian Cullen 6yr old Callenberg has always enjoyed a bit of a reputation in the Robert Dunn stable, but has often been one bereft of luck in his races. However, with four solid runs to start his current campaign, there was a fair bit of confidence in the camp going into today's contest for the junior drivers at Oamaru Raceway. At his last start at Motukarara, Callenberg was badly squeezed at the start of his race, losing much of his front line advantage right away. He then did work in the race, before finishing a nice 5th behind a very much in form Lightning Mach. That was enough to rate him a very strong chance in today's race. Allowed to stay out of the early rush for positions, a succession of lead changes saw Callenberg parked for the last 1200m of the 2000m contest. On a day dominated by runners near the front, it was a very confident Matt Purvis that sent Callenberg for home at the 250m. While he had done all the work in the breeze and was vulnerable to runners coming off his back, he showed a real tenacity in the run to the line, winning by a convincing three and a quarter lengths in 2.40.29. It was the closing sectionals that were most telling running home in 800m 58.5 and 400m 27.9. Today's win was Callenberg's third from 20 starts and takes his stakes won to over $20,000. In his current vein of form, he is sure to pick up another win in C2 company pretty quick, today's being win being penalty free. For his driver Matt Purvis, today's win was his 5th from just the 51 starts this season. While having limited opportunities, Matt is certainly driving with a lot of maturity this season. Robert Dunn Racing Stables - Check site here

You haven't had to look very far in the last eighteen months to see the changing dynamic in the harness racing siring charts especially in the broodmare end in New Zealand. After a brilliant siring career during which he dominated the New Zealand Sires lists, Christian Cullen was always going to make a similar impact in the broodmare ranks as he had done as a sire. Christian Cullen has been an outstanding filly/mare sire in his time and now that he has hundreds of well performed and well bred mares entering the broodmare ranks in New Zealand, he could well dominate the broodmare charts for some time to come. In the last twelve months, mares by Christian Cullen have left such outstanding types as Lazarus 1:52.9 ($488,262), Chase The Dream 1:53.1 ($294,646), Golden Goddess 1:55 ($169,810), Te Kawau 1:54.3 ($186,376) and No Doctor Needed 1:53.1 ($138,090) to mention just a handful. Looking at this years yearlings sales at both Karaka and Christchurch reveals countless examples of young well performed Christian Cullen mares with progeny for sale by the likes of Bettors Delight, Art Major and Mach Three so the momentum looks like building, not slowing in years to come. One of the better Christian Cullen racemares of the last few years to have her first progeny for sale this year is Supremacy 1:57.2p ($107,911) Her first foal is named Bounty Lady and will sell as Lot 93 at the Australasian Classic Yearling sale at Karaka on February 22nd. The daughter of Art Major has plenty of depth to her pedigree with her grand dam being none other than the former champion racemare Victor Supreme 1:54.7 ($247,022) who has carved out a great record as a broodmare as well. Not only has she produced Supremacy but Victor Supreme has also produced Victor's Delight 1:54 ($152,031) and Supreme Rocket 1:51.4 ($67,387) and is the grand dam of the speedy Pennsylvania 1:55.1 ($49,971). It has been a very strong fillies and mares family for several generations and Bounty Lady looks just the type to build the family record up even further. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling sale catalogue click here. Harnesslink Media

When Nandina Stud Ltd in New Zealand sold Princess Nandina to North America over 30 years ago, little did they realise what an outstanding contribution she would make in the harness racing broodmare barn in both hemispheres. At stud in North America, Princess Nandina produced the champion three year old filly of 1987 in Pacific 1:53 ($871,550), the daughter of Seahawk Hanover winning 27 of her 42 starts lifetime. Imported back to New Zealand in the mid 1980s by Dave Phillips and National Bloodstock, Princess Nandina produced another quality racemare in Twice As Good 1:56.5 who took her lifetime mark at Alexandra Park. The daughter of Butler BG has done an unbelievable job since retirement to stud as the following list of winners shows. * (H)  Mark Dennis 1:54.2 ($219,519) * (M) Waitfornoone 1:55.7 ($201,805)  -  Now dam of Windinherhair 1:54.6 ($140,476) * (H) St Barts 1:57 ($162,506) * (M) Fight Fire With Fire 1:56 ($151,656) * (M) Twice As Hot 1:59.6 ($50,537)  -  Now dam of Flaming Flutter 1:53.9 ($608,907) * (M) Twice As Fine  -  Unraced  -  Now dam of Pacific Warrior 1:54.8 ($326,169) It is an outstanding record and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The family is well represented at this years Australasian Classic Yearling sale at Karaka on February 22nd with Lot 33 being a daughter of super filly sire Bettor's Delight  from a race winning Christian Cullen mare from Twice As Good. Named Bettorlooking Lass, she is the third foal from her dam Goodlookinggirl who has already produced the handy three year old Mach Three filly in Goodlookingbabe 2:00.6 who won at Alexandra Park recently. With the record of the family since the late 1980s being so consistently impressive, Bettorlooking Lass has a future both on the track and as a future broodmare when finished as a racehorse. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling sale Catalogue click here. Lot 33 - Bettorlooking Lass Harnesslink Media

Christen Me will not defend his Miracle Mile crown with harness racing trainer Cran Dalgety running out of time to have the champion Kiwi race fit for Australasia’s prestigious sprint.   The seven-year-old gelding has been struck down with a virus which forced him to miss the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion Championship.   Christen Me will also miss out on defending his Victoria Cup title, along with the AG Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile – he has won both of those features in his career.   Dalgety was hoping to turn his attention to the Miracle Mile (1609m) at Menangle on February 28. The West Melton trainer understands that time is of the essence and his champion pacer wouldn’t be fit enough to tackle Australasia’s quickest horses.   He seems really good and he is progressing but he’s not going to be up to race fitness in time,” Dalgety told   Christen Me was a brilliant winner of the Miracle Mile in 2014 after wearing down Beautide in the home straight to capture the Group 1 feature in a 1:49.1 mile rate.   The gelding has missed most of the big Group 1 features having only raced four times this season.   He won the Group 3 Maurice Holmes Vase (2600m) first up in September before a half-length defeat behind stablemate Mighty Flying Mac in the Group 3 Hannon Memorial (2600m).   Christen Me would capture the Group 3 Avon City Ford Cup (2600m) before his final run for the preparation was a third-placing in the Group 2 Canterbury Classic (2600m) in October.   Dalgety is hopeful that he can have Christen Me ready for the Group 1 Easter Cup (3200m) at Addington on March 26.   The Easter Cup is probably the last one of the major races here so hopefully we might aim up at that,” he said.    Christen Me won the Easter Cup in 2015 by a narrow margin over Border Control and Terror To Love who was having his final race start before retiring to stud.   Dalgety will then consider a Queensland campaign that could see the son of Christian Cullen compete in the Group 1 Sunshine Sprint (1660m) and Group 1 The Blacks A Fake (2680m) at Albion Park.    New Zealand Cup runner-up Smolda ran second in the Sunshine Sprint behind Avonnova and fourth in The Blacks A Fake behind Philadelphia Man in 2015. Smolda went there last year and it brought him right up so that may be an option we look at as there won’t be much else around for him,” Dalgety said.   Christen Me has raced on 50 occasions for 30 wins and 13 minor placings.    By Trent Orwin   Reprinted with permission of the site    

The injury plagued elite grade pacer Franco Nelson is to have a change of scenery once again as he heads over to join the Victorian barn of former Kiwi driver Anthony Butt Anthony and his new partner are in the process of setting up a small boutique stable on Gavin Lang's old property and there wouldn't be a better horse to get things under way with The six year old son of Christian Cullen is lightly raced considering he was mixing it with the best at two and Anthony will be his fourth trainer to date in his stop start career. Franco Nelson had his last start for his present trainer Michael House in the $57,500 Waikato Flying Mile at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night where he ran a very creditable third after leading easily off the gate in the hands of his soon to be regular pilot Anthony Butt who made the trip from Melbourne to drive the entire. Anthony is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be involved with a horse of the class of Franco Nelson. " He went great in the New Zealand Cup in his first run for such a long time and Dexter had no luck in the Auckland Cup, being shoved out wide at the 800 metres mark so I think you can disregard that run". " There are so many opportunities for a horse like him in Australia" " With his proven class, he shouldn't be a hard horse to place," Anthony said. Anthony is not getting ahead of himself, fully aware of all the issues that have troubled the star pacer in recent times. " I have been really lucky in having such a quality horse sent to me to train but I have a pool there which he needs so I can do a lot of the day to day work with him." " If we can get him back to his best, it could be very exciting." " I can't wait to get him home and and sort out a programme for him," said Anthony. Franco Nelson is not the only horse that has Anthony excited heading into the major cup races and series in Victoria. " I have driven Keystone Del to his last two wins since he joined Brent's barn and he has gone super both times." " I think he will be very competitive when all the big trotting races come around," Anthony said. Anthony is also hopeful of attracting some more New Zealand owned horses to his new training establishment. " It would work out great if a few more horses came over from home." " There are great opportunities here for a promising horse and I more than happy to look after any visitors as well," Anthony said. Harnesslink Media   This is a corrected version of a article Harnesslink first published on Friday 8th January 2016.

With the way the harness racing stallion business is these days, it is becoming harder and harder for the home grown stallions to break into the lucrative market that is dominated by the shuttle stallions from North America. Breeders have access to the very best from North America and that means the local stallion has a huge challenge when going to stud. Christian Cullen proved he was up to the mark in his prime but few others have made it to the top of the sires list down under. The jury is still out on Changeover with the son of In The Pocket churning out plenty of nice horses but he badly needs one or two genuine stars to lift him into the elite level of stallions. Another local who is attempting to break the grip of the Northern Hemisphere stallions is the son of Mach Three in Auckland Reactor. In an attempt to give him a genuine shot at challenging the elite stallions, his management team set his fee at $3,000 and in his first two years he served huge books of 213 mares in year one and 156 in year two in New Zealand and he will serve about 100 again in year three. Auckland Reactor has also done really well in Australia with 182 in year one followed by 210 in year two and is on track to serve about 220 again this year. It's long been accepted that for a stallion to establish himself, he needs to have the numbers on the ground and Auckland Reactor has certainly been given the opportunity with the numbers he has coming through. Auckland Reactors first lot of foals hit the yearling sales this year with five entered at Auckland and twenty four in Christchurch. One that caught our eye was the colt Jordan's Jury, the first foal from the former smart racemare in Georgia's Jury 1:58.7 ($59,871) who is being offered as Lot 29 at the Australasian Classic Yearling sale at Karaka on February 22nd. Georgia's Jury ran 2nd in the Sires Stakes at three behind the champion Adore Me and all up only had 22 starts for 5 wins and 7 placings. The dam of Georgia's Jury is the racewinning Christian Cullen mare in Van Seraa whose first three foals old enough to race have all been winners. Apart from Georgia's Jury, she has also produced Raesawinner 1:56 ($88,351) and the three year old Van Mara 1:58.2p who won his maiden race at Alexandra Park in December. This branch of the Rosalie family has been prominent since the very speedy racemare Good Going went to stud in the 1980s. Winners have flowed from that time with two of the best being Tribute 1:54.9 ($610,993) and Easy On The Eye 1:54 ($461,580) and that flow of winners shows no sign of slowing down. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling sale Catalogue click here.   Harnesslink Media    

The All Stars barn regularly sweep all before them at harness racing meetings in New Zealand but it is not that easy for the young reinsman tied to the stable. They get the odd drive on stable runners in junior drivers events or fill in when the leading stable reinsmen are away at Auckland for the classic races. So it was tonight at Addington Raceway when Conversion broke his maiden duck for the All Star junior reinsman Matt Anderson. Matt slotted him into a lovely one by possie from barrier four  and Matt didn't  have to move until they got to the home corner. Eased out three wide on the corner, Conversion just went on by and won with a lot in reserve. He paced the 1950 metres in a quick 2:21.4, a mile rate of 1:56.6 with closing sectionals of 57.3 and 28.7. The three year son of Christian Cullen and the former high class racemare Coburg 1: 56.7 ($205, 176) looks to have a bright future. The win tonight by Matt continues the great run that he has been having this season with a UDR of 2731 that any driver would be very happy with. Matt has a plan this season. " I am very keen to make the Australasian Junior Drivers Championship and I am right up there at the moment." " Whenever it fits in with Mark and Natalie I have been taking drives up north and down south with the aim of getting the top spot to qualify." " It is very competitive amongst the junior drivers but if I can keep getting the outside drives  I give myself a chance of winning the top spot," Matt said. So any trainers out there from Northland to Bluff, if you need a top junior driver for an upcoming race Matt is more than likely available. Harnesslink Media 

Former star apprentice jockey Michael Grantham has bright prospects of landing his most important winner as a harness racing reinsman by guiding the ultra-consistent The Bucket List to victory in the $35,000 group 3 Christmas Gift at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 20-year-old Grantham will drive the New Zealand-bred six-year-old for his uncle, Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, and the gelding has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at No. 7 on the front line in the 2130m feature event. The Bucket List is certain to start favourite after being the fastest of the three heat winners last Friday night. He rated 1.56 when he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from fourth at the bell to win by almost a length from the pacemaker Our Major Mark, with a head to Im A Peregrine. The other heat winners were Fernleigh Rebel (1.56.3) and Bronze Seeker (1.56.7). Fernleigh Rebel will start from barrier two on the back line, with Bronze Seeker on his outside.    Grantham, who rode 97 winners before increasing weight forced his retirement as a jockey in 2012, has a close affinity with The Bucket List, who he has driven four times for two wins and two thirds. The Bucket List has been a model of consistency throughout his 46-start career which has produced 13 wins, 12 seconds and six thirds for $157,336 in prizemoney. Since arriving in WA from New Zealand eight months ago he has had 13 starts for seven wins and six placings. By Christian Cullen, The Bucket List is the first foal out of the American-bred mare Saddle Ridge (by Artsplace). The mare’s second foal is the Mach Three gelding Extreme Machine, who won twice at Alexandra Park in November-December 2013 before being sold to America where he has proved highly successful for owner Joseph Muscara, trainer Darren Cassar and reinsman Eric Goodell. The Bucket List is sure to have to do plenty of work from his wide barrier in an open event in which the powerful Hall and Bond stables will each be represented by three runners. Gary Hall sen. will be pinning his faith on Algranco Under Fire, Soho Lennon and Mohegan Sun, while Greg and Skye Bond’s runners Jumbo Jet, Phoenix Warrior and Our Major Mark will be popular with punters. Algranco Under Fire will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and Clint Hall is sure to make full use of the gelding’s good gate speed. Algranco Under Fire trailed the pacemaker Fernleigh Rebel when an excellent second to that pacer in a qualifying heat last Friday night. Hall sen. will be looking to one of his runners to give him his sixth winner in the Christmas Gift. He has been successful with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007), Livingontheinterest (2012) and Toretto (2013). The Bond stable has won the Christmas Gift with Motu Treasure in 2010 and Russley Rascal in 2011 and Jumbo Jet, Phoenix Warrior and Our Major Mark are racing keenly and are capable of winning. Perhaps the best of the trio will be Jumbo Jet, who will be driven by Colin Brown from barrier four on the front line. Jumbo Jet ran home solidly from sixth at the bell when third behind Fernleigh Rebel and Algranco Under Fire last Friday night. Jumbo Jet gave a superb performance at his previous outing when he thundered home from the rear to win from Phoenix Warrior and Smokey The Bandit over 2100m at Bunbury. Fernleigh Rebel is in line to complete a hat-trick for 87-year-old Wanneroo owner-trainer Ken White after sparkling all-the-way wins over 2130m at his two most recent outings when he relished staring from the No. 1 barrier on each occasion. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line on Friday night, which will not prove an insurmountable problem. He can unwind a sparkling late sprint. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri will be looking to Im A Peregrine to give him his second win in the Christmas Gift, following the success of Savette in 1992. Im A Peregrine will be driven by the in-form Stuart McDonald, who will be toying with a plan to take the early lead from the No. 3 barrier. Im A Peregrine is not only a smart frontrunner, but has shown plenty of strength in races in which he has worked hard in the breeze. He raced without cover and fought on grandly when third, less than a length behind the winner The Bucket List in a qualifying heat. Bronze Seeker has struck a purple patch for Byford trainer Peter Anderson with fast-finishing wins over 2130m last Friday night and on Sunday afternoon. Chris Lewis will handle the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old who will start from the outside of the back line. Bronze Seeker is a smart sit-sprinter capable of making his presence felt. The Christmas Gift is one of the very few WA feature events which has eluded Lewis and the champion reinsman would dearly love to right that wrong on Friday night. by Ken Casellas

The second of tonights Inter Dominion heats looked a Philadelphia Man benefit even though he had drawn the outside of the gate via the preferential draw. After a false start, Mark Reed on Libertybelle Midfrew burned off the gate and worked his way to the lead after 250 metres with the plunge horse Major Crocker posted outside her. Philadelphia Man and Gavin Lang dropped out last early and seemed intent right from the start on following Waylade and Gary Hall jnr the whole way. With plenty of speed on up front there were no mid race moves until Easy On The Eye looped the field and found the death. With 1000 metres to go Waylade was sent three wide by Hall jnr with Philadelphia Man hooking straight onto his back for the drag home. Waylade got up alongside Libertybelle Midfrew at the 400 metres but that was as close as he got as the outstanding mare kicked clear for a narrow but decisive win. Philadelphia Man worked home well late to claim second in the shadows of the post with Waylade a game third after such a hard run. Libertybelle Midfrew had no luck on either of the first two nights and even though she won tonight looks unlikely to make the final. It was the 16th career victory for the daughter of Christian Cullen and took her earnings over the $540,000 mark. She paced the 2536 metres in a smart 3:02.3,a mile rate of 1:55.7 with even closing sectionals of 56.8 and 28.4. Mark Reed was unsure if that victory would get him into the final. " Hopefully that victory will get us into the final but if it doesn't she can line up in the mares race instead." " I drove her so aggressively tonight because I was sick and tired of getting held up and not getting a run." " I think the final is pretty open and the barrier draws and luck in the running will play a big part," Mark said.  Harnesslink Media

While she has been a work in progress in many respects, it was great to see Cullens First Meddle finally rewarded for consistency at Addington Raceway on Friday night. A 4yr old Christian Cullen mare, Cullens First Meddle is the 5th foal out of the good racemare Make A Meddle (64 starts, 7 wins, 14 placings, $50,259) that was also trained by the stable. While she has been up for almost five months in her current campaign, Cullens First Meddle seems to be getting better, the longer that campaign goes. It was a last start 6th in the Futurity final on Show Day that gave driver Gavin Smith a lot of confidence heading into the race. "That was a pretty sharp field and they broke 3.11," said Gavin. "This was a big dropback to be honest and I thought that if we ran them along again she would have most struggling." After running even sectionals throughout, Cullens First Meddle had most off the bit a long way out. Running home in 800m 58.0 and 400m 28.6, she was a convincing winner at the line in 3.11.7 for the 2600m trip. "It didn't feel like we were running that quick," said Gavin, "but that track is so fast now they are running these times a fair bit." The win was a fitting reward for her breeders Warwick and Una Sparks, who have had a long association with the Robert Dunn stable over many years. The Sparks' have successfully bred and raced a number of "Meddle" horses including: Lionel's Meddle -  14 wins, Mahjac Meddle - 7 wins and Mr Meddle - 4 wins. There must have been times with this mare that they were despairing of ever getting a win, but with the convincing nature of her maiden win, she may have really turned a corner. "She lacks that real kick that you need," said Gavin, "but she can follow speed all day." "If they only walk there's no point sitting back on her, she's got to be up there dictating the pace, or outside the leader keeping that pressure on." While she will need a break at some point, she is clearly thriving and doing all the right things at present. Mike Drury Robert Dunn Racing Stables   -    Check site here

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