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Interstate trips for Caesars Folly have been few and far between. In fact, the talented Queensland harness racing pacer has only chased rich purses south of the border on two previous occasions, both trips made to Melbourne chasing the Australasian Breeders Crown. While he performed well on each trip, he didn’t win the major prize. But the husband and wife combination of Scott Miller and Shannon Price are looking to right that wrong this weekend. Caesars Folly makes his Sydney debut on Saturday night in the Gr.3 $31,800 SEW Eurodrive Open Class at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He’s battled some injuries and setbacks since his last interstate trip but he deserving of this trip because his current form is first class and this race fits his schedule perfectly. We’re hoping to win this race and then return home to tackle both the Lord Mayors and Christmas Cups at Albion Park next month.” Co-trainer Miller said. The Christian Cullen – Lillian gelding has returned in excellent form this campaign including a narrow defeat in the Grand Circuit opener at Albion Park last month when runner-up to Our Hi Jinx in the Queensland Pacing Championship. Last week, he flashed late when second behind Mach Alert in a time of 1:52.9 while the final 800m was covered in 54.8 seconds. “We’re thrilled with the way he’s returned this campaign; he badly needed the run first-up in the Gold Coast Cup behind Bling It On in track record time while he past two efforts have been really encouraging. We think he’s back to his very best form, he’s a very talented horse and he’s capable of racing against the best opposition. “We think the style of racing at Menangle will suit his racing pattern and you would expect a bit of pressure early in this race looking at the field. The draw looks fair on paper but hopefully we can land a good spot and be close to the action before unleashing his sprint at the finish, he’s handled the road trip really well and settled in nicely at Blake’s (Fitzpatrick) property. “The open class features back home next month will be his next assignment, the Lord Mayors and Christmas Cups but this race came up at the right time so we’re giving it a shot. Having a driver like James Rattray engaged is good because he knows the local form as well as anybody and we think his style will suit Tiny (Caesars Folly).” The $25,000 Lord Mayors Cup is scheduled for December 12 while the $25,000 Christmas is the following week, both are Listed features. The hit/run missions to Sydney have proven fruitful for the Logan Reserve couple in recent times including victories with the likes of American Legend and Chevals Clivesdale quickly coming to mind. by Chris Barsby

The 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit harness racing season is officially underway. And it’s started with a bang. The Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship staged at Albion Park in Brisbane was taken out by New Zealand bred gelding Our Hi Jinx ($9.50) who defeated Caesars Folly ($51.10) and Avonnova ($13.90) in the sunshine state’s biggest event. Prepared locally by Ian Gurney, Our Hi Jinx was handled by Victorian reinsman Greg Sugars who replaced the suspended Adam Sanderson and drove a brilliant tactical race to claim the 2680 feature in track record time of 1;55.0 – eclipsing the previous mark of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood from 2010. Race favourite Philadelphia Man ($1.40) finished 9th after being forced to work hard from his wide draw. Driven aggressively off the gate from the start, Sugars controlled the early going with Our Hi Jinx with Caesars Folly in the trail while Alleluia and Monifieth jostled early for handy positions. As the field worked past the mile marker, Our Hi Jinx took cover behind his stablemate Avonnova while Bling It On and Shannonsablast also made forward moves. The lead time was posted in 77.5 seconds. With Avonnova leading the way, Philadelphia Man made his move but was forced to cover plenty of extra ground in very quick sectionals. The first half of the final mile was covered in 28.9 and 28 seconds. Heading down the back straight on the final occasion, Avonnova maintained a solid tempo with Philadelphia Man working on his outside while Our Hi Jinx sat directly behind them. The third quarter was posted in 28.6 seconds. In the straight, Avonnova kicked clear from Philadelphia Man while Our Hi Jinx and Caesars Folly darted back to the sprintlane. Our Hi Jinx lasted by a half neck margin from Caesars Folly with a further 5 metres back to Avonnova in third. The final quarter was timed in 28.6 seconds. “We couldn’t have wished for a better trip and he travelled comfortably throughout, the solid speed suited him and he zipped quickly once we got the run via the inside. Ian (Gurney) was really happy with him going into the event and that gave me good confidence, he’s a neat little horse with really good speed.” Winning driver Greg Sugars said. The 2015 Queensland spring carnival has proven to be quite the windfall for Our Hi Jinx with victories in the Be Good Johnny Sprint and now the QPC. The Christian Cullen – Treasured Possession gelding was also placed in the Gold Coast Cup last week. Our Hi Jinx is raced by Gurney, Paul Montgomery and the Fleur De Lil Trust. The next leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 10. by Chris Barsby

When it was announced earlier this year that the queen of harness racing in New Zealand Adore Me would visit the champion sire Christian Cullen in her first year at stud, lots of knowledgeable breeders nodded in agreement that the choice made a lot of sense. The resulting foal would be a three quarter brother or sister to the two time grand circuit champion Christen Me 1:49 ($2,325,592) which would make the foal even more valuable. However due to circumstances beyond anyones control  there has been a change in plans according to Andrew Grierson of Woodlands Stud. " We served Adore Me with Christian Cullen but she missed on the first service and that has led to a change of plans." " We really want an early foal from Adore Me and much as we wanted a Christian Cullen foal from her, we just couldn't take the risk that she might miss a second time." "Hence we made the decision to switch her over to Sweet Lou." " He is proving unbelievably fertile with the first 14 mares he has served all in foal on the first service which we are thrilled with." "Therefore it was really an easy decision to make the switch in the end,"Andrew said. Sweet Lou 1:47 ($ 3,484,251 is standing his debut season at Woodlands Stud after completing his first season at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania where he served 140 mares and is on track to serve an even bigger book in his first season down under . Harnesslink Media

The New Zealand Trotting Cup field is starting to take shape. Just 25 of the original 40 nominations remain after Wednesday's payment deadline, but one surprise is 2014 runner-up Franco Nelson remaining in the mix. Late last week the Michael House trained son of Christian Cullen pulled up lame after working at home and there were fears he may have suffered a fractured pastern. But scans earlier this week have not found any breaks. "We can't find any fracture so why he went lame we don't know," House said. A winner of 14 races and more than half a million dollars in stakes, Franco Nelson was given a week off and House said he seems to be bright in himself. Although still a chance to start in the cup, Franco Nelson will not be risked unless he is 100 per cent, House said. Time is now his enemy but House is trying to stay relaxed and is not yet worrying about the options of Ashburton or Kaikoura should he be ready in time for either. "At the moment we are in no man's land and we are just taking it each day as it comes." "We're keeping our options open, if he's not quite up to it we could even go straight to the free-for-all on show day." If the camp feels he is up to racing he would go through a gruelling veterinary process before he lined up, he said. With no Adore Me or Terror To Love in the 2015 cup, Franco Nelson's chances of starting in the race have been a polarising topic and House quipped he currently spends more time on the phone to reporters than with the horse. There is no pressure from either House or Franco Nelson's owners Clive, Rona and Sharon McKay for the horse to contest the cup. After discussing Wednesday's payment with the McKays, a decision was made to give the horse a chance to start. Franco Nelson has not started on race day since January when trained by Robert Dunn but House was happy with the way he was progressing after his last trial before he pulled up lame.  Southland owned but now Australian based pacer Franco Ledger and Venus Serena were the only runners inside the top 15 to come out on Wednesday. Venus Serena will be targeting the major mares races later in the season and Franco Ledger will focus on the Inter Dominion series in Perth. The top three in last Friday's Canterbury Classic are guaranteed a start which moves Tiger Tara up to second in the rankings and Smolda to third, with Christen Me holding the number one spot. Those moves see the Australian-based Arden Rooney move back to fourth with Franco Nelson holding firm in fifth. Australians Corzin Terror (8th), Forever Gold (11th) and Alleluia (16th) remain in the nominations. Mighty Flying Mac (12th), Belkmyster (14th), Te Kawau (15th), Messini (18th) No Doctor Needed (20th), Mach's Gladiator (21st), Lewy Risk (22nd), Delightful Dash (23rd), Quick As A Trick (24th) and Ideal Success (25th) will have a chance to press their cup start claims on Sunday in the Group III Methven Cup. Brilliant Strike (19th) races in an C4-C6 pace at Addington on Friday night. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    Check site here

The locals drew first blood in the 2015 Queensland spring harness racing carnival at Albion Park. Our Hi Jinx, prepared by Chambers Flat horseman Ian Gurney, sprinted brilliantly via the passing lane to claim victory in the Gr.2 $50,000 Be Good Johnny Sprint defeating stablemate Mach Alert and Majestic Major in a time of 1;52.6 for the 1660m event. The time was 0.1 of a second outside of the race record which is held by millionaire pacer Washakie who set the mark when successful in 2011. Driven by Adam Sanderson, Our Hi Jinx ($3.50) sat perfectly behind race favourite Majestic Major ($2.10) before sprinting clear over the concluding stages to win comfortably from Mach Alert ($54.70) who charged through late to snatch second from the weakening Majestic Major. “It panned out perfectly, that’s the run I thought he would get and he just thrived on that solid speed and sprinted really well once clear. He’s still on the up this horse and I think he’ll continue to do a good job.” Gurney said. Reigning Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova, also prepared by Gurney, finished at the rear of the field. Majestic Major found the lead comfortably and posted the opening quarter in 27.6 seconds while New South Wales raiders Shannonsablast and Bling It On raced handy on the outside. The half was reached in 57 seconds after a second quarter split of 29.4 seconds. Heading down the back straight, Majestic Major continued to dictate terms in front while Our Hi Jinx sat poised behind him while moves from back in the field didn’t come and the third quarter was a controlled 28.7 seconds. In the straight, Majestic Major was challenged by Shannonsablast and Bling It On while Our Hi Jinx gathered top speed on the inside. Our Hi Jinx scored comfortably at the finish by 3.75m with a half head separating second and third. “After the draw, he was clearly my top chance and he delivered. I was thrilled with the way Mach found the line and he’s only going to improve while Nova had little or no chance from his draw,” “I expect all three to race extremely well again next week in the Gold Coast Cup and then the QPC. I’m very happy with all of them.” Our Hi Jinx, a six-year-old Christian Cullen – Treasured Possession gelding is raced by Gurney, Paul Montgomery and the Fleur De Lil Trust. Next week, the Gr.1 $100,000 Hurrikane Kingcole Gold Coast Cup over 2138m will be the feature while the Grand Circuit opener, the Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship will be staged on October 24. Racing Queensland

Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones has had to make “that” phone call to owner Grant Hatton following a devastating setback to top pacer Saveapatrol. Not only is the lightly-raced star out of today’s Hannon and November’s New Zealand Cup, but his future is uncertain after sustaining a tendon tear high up in his superficial tendon. “It is the worst phone call to make to Grant (Hatton) and the worst part about training horses, but is part of the job and can happen anytime to anyone,” Mark said. “I know all the time and effort, especially Regan (Todd), myself and my staff, have put into him. We did everything we could to keep him sound,” he said. The tear is in the same leg he sustained an injury previously. “But last time it was a deep digital tendon so its a completely different injury and so gutting,” Mark said. Saveapatrol, the big gelded son of Christian Cullen and Rondel Franco, will have the tendon scanned next week. “At this stage, our only option looks like doing an operation and give him a decent break, so he’ll be out for at least six months,” Mark said. “I just have to hope we get him back to the races.” “The vet didn’t give us much hope of racing him again but I am confident with the right rehab and all the work Regan puts into looking after him that we will get him back racing.” The injury is extremely frustrating, after Saveapatrol had a precautionary operaton and a year off following an Auckland Cup third in the hope of preserving his long-term race future. “It only happens to the good horses,” Mark said. “I have no doubts he was a serious winning chance in the New Zealand Cup.” “Both Grant (Hatton) and I may never get another horse as good as him, so we will put everything we can into getting him back to the races.” Saveapatrol resumed in late June, winning the Thames Cup second-up in early July, then had to be freshened again with a foot infection. He stepped out with a nose win from the trail at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday (last 800m in 55.5s), pleasing in preparation for a scheduled Hannon return. The 6YO has raced only 18 times for 11 wins, a second, and a third, earning $145,618 in stakes. Jeff Scott Reproduced with the permission of Mark Jones Racing Stables  - Check site here

Michael House is optimistic Franco Nelson is on right on track for November 10. The Christian Cullen 6-year-old made his first public appearance for House at the Rangiora trials on Wednesday since being transferred from the Robert Dunn stable. Franco Nelson is injury free after having surgery three months ago to remove a bone chip from a back leg and House is hoping he can go one better than his second behind Adore Me in the New Zealand Trotting Cup last year. After his heroics during Cup Week, when he also ran third in the Group I New Zealand free-for-all, Franco Nelson was plagued by issues. He has not won a race since using his blinding sprint to win the 4-year-old Emerald back in May 2014. Franco Nelson pinged away from the tapes at Rangiora and House was leading heading into the first bend despite his 30m handicap. "He's a very fast horse saved for one run, he's not a leader, but he started that good I didn't have a choice," House said. House kept him under a strong hold in the final 150m to finish fourth in a more than satisfactory return. "It's not ideal to have other horses run past you, but I wasn't going to knock him around in his first run back," he said. House was happy with the hit out and said Franco Nelson would return to the trials at Addington on Monday, but a comeback race had not yet been decided. "He's only about 80 per cent fit but there is plenty of time and I think we're in a good place," House said. Anthony Butt will return home from Victoria to drive Franco Nelson in the cup. Saveapatrol came up the passing lane after trailing Franco Nelson to beat a gutsy No Doctor Needed by a nose, with Tiger Tara flying home late for third a further length back. No Doctor Needed sat parked for most of the last half mile and was still making ground on Saveapatrol at the post. Saveapatrol paced the 2600m in 3-24.9 with a mile rate of 2-06.8 and closing sectionals of 55.5 and 26.9. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with the permission of Stuff NZ - Check site here  

After bookending the harness racing program at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night with a couple of his stable favourites, South Australian horseman Robert Caruso is confident of further Victorian success this coming weekend. Caruso-trained horses won two heats of the Battle of the Claimers, Paleface Jasper (11G Village Jasper/My Paleface Navajo) taking the first in 1:55.7 and My Man Dan (10G Pacific Rocket/Fullabubbles) heat four in 1:56.9. Both were driven by Chris Alford, who finished with a winning treble for the night. “I brought them over a month ago and thought they’d go well but things just didn’t quite work out,” Caruso said. “Dan didn’t travel for whatever reason last time. I changed up a few things and that seemed to work. And Paleface had to work too hard.” Paleface Jasper ran to the lead after about 500m and dictated terms from there, race favourite Livin It Lovin It (Rodney Petroff) coming around to the breeze through a 30.1secs second quarter. At the home turn both the first and second horses were put to pressure but Paleface Jasper wasn’t going to be denied, fighting on doggedly to score by a half-neck. “I knew if Jasper got to the front he’d be a hard horse to beat,” Caruso said. Ten races later it was Caruso and Alford to the fore again with My Man Dan, who, like his other successful stablemate is a former Queensland pacer. My Man Dan was driven off the pace, one-out and two back, before easing three-wide at the 600m. At the home corner My Man Dan loomed up to hit the front with Ballochbuie (Greg Sugars) and My Elusive Dream (Alison Chisholm) joining in four- and five-wide. The three engaged in a cracking tussle up the stretch but My Man Dan found enough to win, the last quarter run in 28.2secs. “He was just a jump and charge horse up in Queensland but I always thought a horse with that much speed has to be able to come from behind,” Caruso said. “We changed things up a bit and he’s won four of his last six, so he’s got a few extra strings to his bow.” Mighty Mav (5G Town Champion/Shes A Dancer), trained by Matthew Craven and driven by Chris Svanosio, and Inky Cullen (Christian Cullen/Inky Lady), trained by Dean Braun and driven by Alex Ashwood, were the other Battle of the Claimers heat winners on Saturday night. Mighty Mav went 1:56.6 and Inky Cullen posted a rate of 1:55.8. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria >> Video: Paleface Jasper too strong >> Video: My Man Dan overpowers his rivals

Leading harness racing breeder Charlie Roberts has never been one to play by the rules over his lifetime in the industry. As the driving force behind Woodlands Stud, Charlie has been experiencing a run that is unprecedented in Australasia with regards to the stallions he stands and the horses he has bred or is racing. The jewel in the the Charlie Roberts crown is the brilliant Adore Me 1:47.7 ($1,673,286) who with her win in the New Zealand Cup last season and then her win  in the Ladyship Mile in a world class 1:47.7 showed ability rarely seen down under. With her stunning racetrack record and being a full sister to the champion three year old Have Faith In Me 1:52.5 ($550,381) and being a half sister to the dam of the dual Grand Circuit champion Christen Me 1:49.1 ($2,304,325) and this years stunning two year old filly Dream About Me 1:53.3 ($403,872), Adore Me is without doubt the most valuable broodmare in Australasia. Breeders have been holding their breath since Adore Me went amiss in the Auckland Cup in March as to who would be the first consort for this champion mare. Many thought that Charlie would stay in house with both American Ideal and this seasons new stallion Sweet Lou at his disposal at Woodlands Stud but Charlie has never been one to do things by the book. Yesterday it was announced that the consort for Adore Me at her first year at stud would be the champion racehorse and sire Christian Cullen. These days domiciled at Nevele R Stud in Canterbury, Christian Cullen is in the twilight of his siring career but has set siring records that are world class. With Christen Me being by Christian Cullen it shouldn't really be a big surprise that Charlie Roberts has gone back to a sire that has already clicked so potently with this family. Harnesslink Media

The harness racing public were expectant that Christen Me would resume on a winning note in the $25,000 Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington Raceway tonight over 2600 metres and that is exactly what he did with a narrow but comfortable win in the Group 3 feature. Away well from the stand, driver Dexter Dunn let Christen Me find his feet early before sending him forward at speed to grab the front from Jason Rulz with 1800 metres to go and then immediately backed the speed right off. A sedate first 800 metres of the last mile turned the race into a sprint home but Dexter kept Christen Me back to the field down the back straight in 29 before turning up the gas at the 400 metres mark. Jason Rulz momentarily looked a threat but Christen Me was holding him comfortably at the line. A minor highlight of the race was Choise Achiever flashing home late for third in his first start for over 20 months. Christen Me paced the 2600 metres from a stand in 3:17.3, a mile rate of 2:02 with closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27.1. It was the son of Christian Cullen's 29th win from just 47 starts and took his earnings over the $2.3 million mark. Trainer Cran Dalgety was a happy man post race. " We were keen to win the race but he was first up and we didn't want to barbecue him." "Once Dexter got the front I didn't think they would beat him." " Christen Me lets them get up to him but they very rarely get past." " He is 22 kgs heavier this year than last and we will let him tell us where we are going."  " Oamaru for the Hannon is next on his schedule and after that we will just play it a bit by ear," Cran said. The Australasian Grand Circuit champion for the last two years, Christen Me looks primed for another huge season. Harnesslink Media  

It is not often in harness racing that a great sire doesn't go on to become a great broodmare sire although the degree of that success can vary every now and again. In The Pocket has done in the broodmare paddock exactly what he did as a sire, having already won the overall title of leading broodmare sire and being the leading pacing broodmare sire in the season just concluded.  In The Pocket has been first or second on the New Zealand broodmare siring charts for the last five years but is under real pressure going forward to hold off the challenge of one of his sons in Christian Cullen. Christian Cullen has made rapid progress up the broodmare siring charts in the last five years as more of his mares are bred from, rising from 27th in 2011 to third overall last season and a close second on the pacing list to In The Pocket.  The rise has been startling and Christian Cullen has the same potential to click with champion sires Bettors Delight and Art Major as his sire In The Pocket has done. Mares by Christian Cullen have only produced 605 foals three year old or older to date which has put him at a major disadvantage against the likes of Holmes Hanover and In The Pocket whose foal numbers are counted in the thousands not hundreds. However as more and more Christian Cullen mares move into the breeding barn, those numbers will change quickly. This season there are 180 two year olds in New Zealand from Christian Cullen mares and there are also 184 yearlings from Christian Cullen mares on the ground so he will quickly catch up numbers wise over the next few years. When you look at the quality of the racehorses his mares are producing, it is no surprise that he has moved up the charts so quickly. Horses of the class of Ohoka Punter 1:51.1p ($599,013) - Te Kawau 1:54.3p ($131,674) - Express Stride 1:54.3p ($132,395) alongside two of last season's standout two year olds in Lazarus 1:52.9 ($265,562) and Chase The Dream 1:53.1p ($212,026) have helped establish Christian Cullen as an elite broodmare sire. One thing of note is that all five of the horses quoted above are sons of Bettors Delight. The best performer produced by a Christian Cullen mare to date is of course Highview Tommy 1:55.2 ($1.021,904) who is also by Bettors Delight. Broodmare earnings in New Zealand have already topped the $6,000,000 mark while over the Tasman in Australia he is slightly ahead of that with $6,179,816 in earnings to date. Looking ahead to next years yearling sales, vendors with Bettors Delight progeny from Christian Cullen mares can expect their stock to be keenly sought after by buyers from both sides of the Tasman. Harnesslink Media

Outstanding New Zealand-bred harness racing four-year-old Elegant Christian will contest a standing-start event for the first time when he begins off the 10m mark in the 2503m Suzuki Jimny Sierra Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Clint Hall will handle the brilliant gelding, who is on target to extend his winning sequence to six. Elegant Christian has not started since he raced three wide early and then set the pace and won easily from Mohegan Sun in a 2130m mobile event at Gloucester Park on May 1. His 13 starts (all in WA) have produced 11 wins, a second and a fourth. "He's had pretty bad leg injuries," said trainer Gary Hall sen. "I'm not sure how quickly he'll get away, but he's forward enough to win." Elegant Christian gave a sample of his class early last year when he won the group 3 Caduceus Club Classic and the group 2 Western Gateway Pace. The clash between Elegant Christian, his talented stablemate Classic American, Chief Thundercloud and My Good Deed promises to one of the main highlights on the ten-event program. Four-year-old Classic American, who has won 14 times from his 30 starts, will begin from 10m alongside the Ross Olivieri-trained Chief Thundercloud, who is in splendid form. My Good Deed, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start off the front and will have many admirers. He is a standing-start specialist and has won at 11 of his 29 starts. Chief Thundercloud worked hard before winning narrowly from the fast-finishing Classic American at Bunbury two starts ago before he started from 20m and ran home solidly when second to stablemate Pembrook Henry in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park last Friday week. My Good Deed maintained his consistent form at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he started from 50m and dashed to the front after a lap before finishing a close second to Major Rush over 2631m. Ken Casellas

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 Nevele R Stud

A decisive return to winning form by Saveapatrol in the $18,500 Bayleys Coromandel 2015 Thames Cup hasn’t changed plans for the horse to cross the Tasman any time soon. “Its great to get him back in the winner’s circle,” said trainer Mark Jones. “A lot of the credit goes to Regan (Todd) for the work he does with him,” he said. Following the Thames Cup on Friday, July 3, Mark, and owner Grant Hatton, confirmed their decision for the horse to remain in Auckland this month. Saveapatrol made a smart beginning from the 20m line and was in front after the opening 500m. The lightly-raced big boy son of Christian Cullen and Rondel Franco revelled in his work on the front-end, second-up after an enforced 14 month layoff. Although inclined to knock off a tad when he clearly had his rivals beaten inside the final 100m, Saveapatrol was super impressive, pacing the 2700m (stand) in a race record 3:22.2 (2:00.4 mile rate). Driver Blair Orange put the hammer down passing the final 800m, letting Saveapatrol quicken from that point in a slick 55.5s. Saveapatrol, even though knocking off at the finish, still steam-rolled the opposition over his closing 400m in 27.6s. Everything now over the next four months will prep the former Auckland Cup placegetter for the New Zealand Cup at Addington in November. “He’ll just continue to race in Auckland and come back south for the Hannon Memorial etc. in the spring as the second Tuesday in November is the aim,” Mark said. Saveapatrol has now raced only 18 times for 11 wins and a couple of minor placings, for $145,618 in stakes. Providing he stays sound, and with regular racing, he could be one of the best prepared for this year’s 3200m cup. Mark also picked up solid place money with stablemates, Zakspatrol (strong-finishing second) and the consistent squaregaiter Sunoflindenny (third) on Friday. Oasis Dream and Kowhai Monarch ran sound fourths, and Landora’s Girl finished fifth, but Rocker Band, Pomme Roy and Twice The Delight were all unplaced. Rocker Band, after sprinting hard early to wrest the lead in the C2-4 pace, over-raced and dropped away in the run home. Pomme Roy tired after working early from the outside gate to race parked in a C1-2 pace, while Twice The Delight, wilted after trailing in the C1-2 mares pace. Jeff Scott - Courtesy of Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here    

One of harness racing's most promising partnerships is on the verge of reaching two significant milestones. Ken Barron and Blair Orange's first season together has been full of highlights and Change Time's victory in Sunday's Winter Cup was another exclamation mark on a season that has shattered all expectations.  With the Barron-trained Livura a winner earlier in the day at the Rangiora Harness Racing Club's meeting, the Barron-Orange combination scored a winning double. Orange now heads into Forbury Park's meeting on Thursday with 98 wins for the season. He went past the 100 mark for the first time last season with 106 winners. With Addington on Friday night and Timaru on Sunday, Orange is a strong chance to reach the century by the end of the weekend if not sooner. Barron's two winners on Sunday have taken him to 49 training wins for the season. Despite going close on a couple of occasions, on his own and in partnership with John Lischner, Barron has never reached 50 wins in a season but the West Melton trainer is certain to break the milestone before the current one is out. Orange credits getting an economical trip as the difference for Change Time who upset the field to win the Winter Cup at a $17 quote. "Finding the trail was definitely the key," Orange said. Change Time's form line was nothing to get excited about going into the Winter Cup but she has come out of the four-year-old Diamond at the Harness Jewels and some quality fields when racing in Auckland. "Last start she had to sit parked and was found wanting a bit, but she's always been better with a sit," Orange said. Change Time's win was Orange's second Winter Cup in as many weeks after he won the Marlborough version last week with Lilac Desire. The Christian Cullen mare picked up her seventh career at Rangiora but her racing days are numbered. A four-year-old mare out of Chaangerr, Change Time will head to Australia at the end of the season to be retired to the broodmare paddock. Orange will always have fond memories of the mare that brought him his 1000th driving win with her victory at Addington back in January. Talented three-year-old Bracken Ridge is another leaving the Barron stable after being sold to Perth but Orange said there was still plenty of talent in Barron's stable. Gerard O'Reilly, Ricky May and Robbie Close also drove winning doubles at the Rangiora meeting. Woodend Beach trainers Greg and Nina Hope continued their standout season with three winners in the last three races of the day. The husband and wife partnership now have 66 winners for the season, just one shy of their best of 67 in 2013. Meanwhile, Dexter Dunn brought up his 200th win of the season at Forbury Park on Friday night. Dunn started the night on 196 winners and brought up the double century with his fourth win of the night with Give Me Strength. It is the fourth time he has gone past 200 winners in a season but in 2012 and 2013 he was finished on 199. By Mat Kermeen Reprinted with permission

IT doesn't get any better than winning your first Group One on a big day's harness racing. So it was a day to savour for both leading trainer Kerry Ann Turner and young reinsman David Morris at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. Turner won the NSW Breeders Challenge four-year-old entires and geldings final with Lettucerockthem while a little over half an hour later Morris saluted when he led all the way to win with Luda, in the four-year-old mares' final, also giving rookie trainer Daniel Neagoe his first Group One. Turner arrived at Tabcorp Park Menangle today "expecting" and she left over the moon with her first Group One winner safely in the bank. Lettucerockthem became the first horse to win three Breeders Challenges in successive years when he cruised home with the $100,000 Four-Year-Old colts and geldings final. It has been a long-time coming because Turner lost a Group One at this very meeting three years ago when Blissful Guy (with Robbie Morris in the sulky) was first past the post but lost the race on protest to No Ah Saint. Turner, who will have her first child in a few months, was ecstatic when Lettucerockthem was sold recently and the new owners sent the son of Art Major to her Menangle stables to train. Her partner, Robert Morris did the rest, finding the front out of the gate from nine and cruising through the first half of his last mile in 60.3 seconds. That made it mathematically impossible for short-priced favourite My General Lee, who sat back in last place and had little chance of running them down. Turning for home Morris held all the aces and clicked up with a final split in 26.6s and a last half of 53.9 to win as he liked, beating Theartofconfusion (Todd McCarthy) by 16m and the fast-finishing My General Lee (David Morris) 23m away from the winner in third place. Luda (Christian Cullen) was just as impressive in the mares' final, holding off a wall of challengers in the straight to score in 1:58.5 mile rate. David Morris obviously learned from his defeat in the previous race as he quickly found the front from the widest gate, stacked up his rivals then held them all off in the run to the line. By Michael Court, Editor-In-Chief, National Trotguide

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