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It is not that often that horses from the central districts of the north island are sent out the hot favourite at the northern harness racing capital of Alexandra Park. But then Te Kawau is not your normal central districts horse. Going into tonights race as the warmest of favourites was due in no small part to the outstanding runs he put up last season at three against Locharburn, Sky Major and company. With two runs back against Cyamach to help him to full fitness, Te Kawau looked very hard to beat and so it proved. Steadied from his second row draw by driver Zac Butcher in the 2200 meters mobile event, Zac sent him forward with 1400 to go and grabbed the lead off Royal Taz with 1100 meters to run. From there Te Kawau always held too many guns for the opposition and comfortably held them at bay in the home straight. Pricillas Girl continued her rich vein of form to grab second after starting from the outside of the second row while early leader Royal Taz was a nose away in third. Te Kawau paced the 2200 meters in 2:43.71 with closing sectionals of 57.3 and 27.3 It was his sixth win from just 14 starts along with five minor placings and stake earnings of $39,727 When you look at how Te Kawau is bred it is no wonder he is smart. By the champion sire Bettors Delight , the dam of Te Kawau is Haylin Express, a daughter of Christian Cullen who won $44,438 on the track and Te Kawau is her first foal. The grand dam by Holmes Hanover is a half sister to the brilliant Agua Caliente 1:55.3 ($413,027) and the ill fated Haylin Fella (7 wins) who died suddenly in Auckland after being sold for big money to Queensland interests. A big striking looking individual, Te Kawau looks to have come back better than ever and should grace the better four year old races later in the season. Harnesslink Media    

Leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati is set to transfer his team out of New South Wales. While a few are already in Queensland and Victoria, the rest will be sent south of the Murray River during next couple of months. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. Other than confirming the Group One winning son of Christian Cullen is becoming a Victorian, Rosati stated he isn’t ready to announce which trainers will be in charge of his team. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performed pacers. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot. “I’m not ready to say which horses will go to which trainer, but it will be known in good time.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles', with the astute owner citing the integrity of the industry as the primary reason for the switch. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. “I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

Whenever you get a small field in harness racing, the race will usually turn out to be a cat and mouse affair and lacking in excitement. The return to the track tonight of Christen Me was in a race that looked just like that on paper with only five opponents but what transpired was anything but. Jimmy Johnstone made a flyer off the twenty meters mark in the 2600 meters standing start event and grabbed the lead after 300 meters and set up a solid tempo in front . Christen Me, the lone back marker on 30 meters made a safe begining and sat last of the six horse field which was all in single file. Going past the 1600 meters mark Dexter eased Christen Me out into the running line which drew Locharburn with Blair Orange in the bike straight out in front of him. Locharburn put the foot down in search of the lead from Jimmy Johnstone over the next 400 meters which was covered in 27.7 before Locharburn found the front with a lap to go. When the speed went on at the 1600 meters mark, Dexter hooked Christen Me back to the inner but  Dexter was on the move again passing the 900 meters mark and was soon up outside Locharburn. As they swung for home Locharburn refused to go away and why Christen Me  always looked to be travelling well within himself the margin of a neck speaks volumes for Locharburn's tenacity. The 2600 meters from a stand was run in 3:13.2, a mile rate of 1:59.5 with the last mile in 1:54.9 and closing sectionals of 56.5 and 27. It was a very impressive run from Christen Me first up especially as Dexter never pulled the ear plugs and hardly moved in the straight while the Locharburn camp would be very happy with how he handled the standing start and took the race to Christen Me in his first run in the top grade. The two sons of champion sire Christian Cullen both look in for big seasons. Harnesslink Media  

Geoff Dunn has just had a harness racing season he will probably never top with his two leading 3 year olds Venus Serena and Tiger Tara winning the age group titles at the recent New Zealand awards. Going by the run of Zin Zan today (August 17th) at Rangiora though, Geoff appears to have another 3 year old of real quality. Very unlucky at his debut run at Oamaru two weeks ago, Zin Zan was restrained off the gate from barrier eight by driver Gerald O'Reilly and settled second last. The free going Millwood Faith went straight to the front and set up a solid clip in front. There were few changes until they turned for home where the favourite Western Art worked to the lead and looked all over the winner. Zin Zan was still second last at the 400 meters before being sent on a searching run by Gerald O"Reilly. Western Art still seemed the winner 100 meters from home before Zin Zan flew home late for a narrow but super impressive win. Zin Zan paced the 2000 meters from the mobile in 2:27.2, a mile rate of 1:58.4 with closing sectionals off the front of 56.5 and 28.8. Zin Zan was miles off the leaders at the half so his closing sectionals must have been really special. It shouldn't be a surprise that Zin Zan is so talented as he is one beautifully bred individual. Purchased out of the 2013 Australasian Classic for $50,000, Zin Zan is raced by Geoff Dunn with his long time stable clients, Bob and Jenny Sandford. By Bettors Delight, Zin Zan is the first foal from a Christian Cullen half sister to Zenad 1:55.4 ($192,636)  Zensational 1:54.8 ($138,808)  Zenola Seelster 1:58.2 ($102,706) and to Zenterfold, the dam of Tintin In America 1:53.2 ($934,305). Zin Zan looks to have inherited all the family ability and it would not surprise to see him take on the better 3 year olds later in the year. Harnesslink Media

Things just didn’t work out for Glen Craven, Keayang Steamer and the punters who took the short odds about the Terang trained star at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. (August 8th)  Keayang Steamer was a heavily tried favourite, starting $1.50, in the Swift Signs Pace at Tabcorp Park Melton but could only muster a fifth-place finish from his inside back-row draw. Pre-race Craven declared he would be looking to get off the pegs at all costs. “I’m not interested in getting locked up on the fence,” he said. But that's precisely what eventuated. The pacer who beat Smoken Up home to claim the Horsham Cup last campaign was wedged three back along the pegs at the bell. Early on Exciteusinthecity found the lead for junior driver Tim McLean from gate three, easily crossing Hall Of Famer and La Machane. Composed got going early to work around to the breeze from his second-line draw, but Keayang Steamer was not able to get one-off and had to punch through to trail Hall Of Famer. Exciteusinthecity, trained by Darren Cole, was able to get away with 31.6secs and 30.3secs first and second quarters of the last mile, setting the five-year-old gelding up to sprint home in 56.1secs and record his second win in three starts. Hall Of Famer capitalised on a beaut trip behind the leader by running second, albeit beaten 5.6 metres by the winner, while Composed battled on gamely for third. Keayang Steamer (fifth) came in behind fast-finishing Kotare Rowland (fourth) and will need to improve significantly second-up to topple his highly regarded stablemate, Keayang Cullen, in the Breeders Crown Graduate Cup on August 24 should they both head in that direction. Meanwhile, Alison Chisholm enjoyed a red-letter evening with a winning double. The Melton trainer/driver drove Three Pints to victory in the GBL Property Consultants Vicbred Pace (Race 3) before scoring aboard stable star Asoka in the Del-Re National Food Group Pace (Race 5). New Zealand champion Our Sky Major proved far too strong for his maiden-metropolitan rivals in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Pace. The Barry Purdon trained three-year-old son of Art Major is here for the Breeders Crown but enjoyed an easy hit-out at Melton, scoring by 3.7 metres over Wolfpack, with Philtra Phella third. Driver Craig Demmler took Our Sky Major back at the start and he was the best part of 40 metres off the lead at one point over the 1720-metre sprint trip. Down the back the last time Our Sky Major made his move, reinsman Craid Demmler easing the two-time Harness Jewels champion three-wide. Sprinting up with a 28.1secs third quarter, Our Sky Major quickly put the leaders away and shot clear early in the straight to record a 3.7-metre triumph in a mile rate of 2:02.5. Another Kiwi pacer to put her best foot forward was Mark Purdon trained two-year-old Big Lucy, who won the VHRSC 2YO Pace over 1720 metres. Chris Alford, who took driving honours for the night with a winning treble, was content to sit outside early leader Yankee Showgirl before taking Big Lucy 1.2 metres clear over Wegottarocketmachine at the finish, with Yankee Showgirl boxing on for third in a rate of 1:55.7. Alford’s other two winners were aboard ultra-consistent trotter Blitzthemcalder in the Renown Silverware Trot for trainer Craig Demmler, and long odds-on favourite Upanatom in the Mediatec Pace Final for trainer Amanda Grieve. Blitzthemcalder worked his way to the lead mid-race in the trot before outshining Sunset Invasion in the run to the line to score a two-metre win in a rate of 2:00.2. Blitzthemcalder is arguably racing in career-best form. Upanatom did plenty of work to find the lead early in his race, but the son of Christian Cullen still proved panels ahead of his rivals – getting home by 4.1 metres over runner-up Pas Mate, who hit the line hard, and third placegetter Eyes On The Sky. Other winners at Melton were Rostevarren, for trainer Ross Graham and driver Daryl Douglas, in the Geoff and Lorraine Barnes Trot over 1720 metres, Road To Rock, for trainer Keith Cotchin and driver Greg Sugars, in the University Food Group Pacers Handicap over 2240m, and Michael Stanley trained-and-driven Young Modern in the Alabar 3YO Pace over 2240 metres.   Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

Master Glide, the full brother to Passionate Glide 3,1:52.2 ($2,060,447), has been sold by Brittany Farms to Max Grant and Arcadia Harness Racing Group, with Paul Davies acting as agent for the buyers. Master Glide is to stand at Wai-Eyre Farm in Christchurch, New Zealand. Wai-Eyre Farm is where the illustrious Christian Cullen began his stallion career. According to the new connections, Arcadia Harness Racing Group is dedicated to creating a select band of pacing and trotting mares to produce elite racehorses to compete on the world stage. "It was was definitely a tough decision as he is such a farm favorite," said Brittany Farms manager Art Zubrod."We did not even have Master Glide on the market as he would have had a good home for life here at Brittany. However, it was evident from first contact that at Wai-Eyre, he would be provided the chance that he really never had here." From very limited opportunity, Master Glide has sired horses including Banco Solo, who was considered a bona fide Hambletonian contender heading into the 2013 season. His older horses are now proving to be rugged racehorses with several holding track records. From Brittany Farms

Amanda Grieve will be hoping winning form is good form when Upanatom and Tandias Bromac hit the track at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night. Tandias Bromac has won two straight races and will start from gate 12 in the Del-Re National Food Group Pace, while Upanatom is shooting for seven wins from seven Australian starts but has drawn gate seven in the Mediatec Pace Final. Tandias Bromac has overcome extreme draws at her past two starts, winning over the sprint trip at Melton on July 25 when she reeled off a 56.8-second last half in the breeze, before again working to the spot outside the leader and scoring a tough win last time out over 2240 metres. “She’s been running really good races,” Grieve said. “This will be her fifth run in five weeks but she’s still going very well. If she wasn’t 100 per cent we wouldn’t be running her.” Grieve’s leading chance in Race 9, Upanatom, has looked almost bulletproof since debuting Down Under. The four-year-old by Christian Cullen is coming off a soft Melton win when he led from gate seven and rated 1:59.9 in awful conditions to score by 5m over Sinead. “We’re not too sure how good he is,” Grieve admitted. “He’s done everything right so far.” Despite the wide draw, Upanatom looks a strong chance to find the lead as he did last start from the 2240-metre start. Grieve’s other runner for the night is Inky Cullen in the Swift Signs Pace over 2240 metres. The five-year-old son of Christian Cullen has been struggling for form since running second to Lennytheshark on May 30. He actually beat home the ultra-fast Chilli Palmer on that occasion. Of late however, Inky Cullen has finished seventh of 10 behind Keayang Cullen, sixth of nine behind Keayang Cullen, last of 11 behind Magical Telf, and last of 11 – and tailed off – behind Smudge Bromac last start when he galloped. “I don’t know why he galloped the other day,” Grieve said. “He was a wee bit crook two starts back but he’s over that now.” Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 08 August 2014 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Friday 08 August 2014  

The battle for the title for leading sire of 4 year olds for the 2013/2014 harness racing season in New Zealand was a one horse affair with Bettors Delight finishing just under a million dollars in front. While that was a comprehensive win, the issue of a much larger crop once again helped to cement in that dominance. As Mach Three proved in the 3 year old division, numbers are really important.  Bettors Delight as is the norm for this great sire produced a freakish mare in Adore Me who was the top earning 4 year old of either sex. His colts and geldings were a handy lot as well but not in the class of Adore Me. The overall numbers for Bettors Delight are outstanding which has been par for the course throughout his siring career. The only negative if you wanted to be picky was the continued lack of any sire prospects emerging from each crop. Bettors Delight can produce champion mares like no other sire but his colts and geldings while very talented are not in the champion class. His best colts and geldings were headed by Elios 1:55 ($149,762) Arden Rooney 1:55.4 ($121,462) and Give The Wink 1:58 ($62,216) The best mares were headed by Adore Me 1:52.4 ($355,658) The Fascinator 1:58.9 ($47,601) and Maloo 2:00.4 ($30,022) Foals - 234 Winners (Aust / NZ) 114 % Winners / Foals - 48.71 Stakes (NZ) $1,803,565 Mach Three finished second nearly a million dollars behind Bettors Delight and a big part of that was the lack of contribution from his mares. While there was plenty of them on the track, they were a touch disappointing overall Mach Three did have a string of very nice colts which were all good enough to go around in the major classics. His overall percentages were up there with Bettor's Delight. His colts/geldings were headed by Cyamach 1:58.8 ($56,584)  Fifth Edition 1:56.6 ($56,251) and Machs Gladiator 1:57.7 ($50,642). His mares were led by Russley Haste 1:59.8 ($36,238) along with Clarisa 1:59.9 ($20,283) and Channell Bromac 1:59.1 ($18,932). Foals - 163 Winners (Aust / NZ) 75 % Winners / Foals - 46.01 Stakes (NZ) $823,098 Third on the sires list was the champion sire Christian Cullen who had a quieter year than normal. Even in a quieter year Christian Cullen managed to produce two horses that look capable of winning Grand Circuit races. Franco Nelson 1:53.1 ($174,990) and Saveapatrol 1:56.9 ($98,127) both look to have huge futures in front of them going by their performances this season. His mares racing in New Zealand were a touch disappointing but that was due in no small way to the fact his best two mares from that crop in Delightful Christian 1:52.1 ($368,611) and Opulent 1:57.3 ($188,047) were racing in Australia. Foals - 122 Winners (Aust / NZ) - 46 % Winners / Foals - 37.70 Stakes - $583,148 The trotting division was as clear cut as the pacing division with Monarchy completely dominating this division. The three biggest earners in Sheemon 1:57 ($135,872) Prime Power 1:56.5 ($67,201) and Royal Aspirations 1:56.5 ($60,488) were all sons of the Balanced Image sire. Second nearly $400,000 behind Monarchy was his Roydon Lodge stablemate in the form of the evergreen Sundon while Love You and Monkey Bones were close up in third and fourth. The emergence of Monarchy from Sundon's shadow and the prominent showing by the likes of Love You and Monkey Bones are all positive signs for the trotting breed going forward. Harnesslink media

The form from last weekend's Tabcorp Park Melton Cup heats carried through to the series final last night. Maximan and Exciteusinthecity, both heat winners, finished one-two in the 2240-metre final last night with Kate Gath piloting Andy Gath trained Maximan to a 4.8-metre win in 1:56.8. Maximan led from gate three with Exciteusinthecity straight to the breeze for Tim McLean from four. From the back row Ginger Bliss carved through early to be one-one but then galloped and was retired from the race. The two pacemakers dictated terms before Maximan upped the ante down the back stretch and had Exciteusinthecity being driven along at the home bend. The chasing brigade of swoopers tried valiantly in the home straight but Maximan pulled out plenty, while Exciteusinthecity fended off the late challengers to finish second. Emma Stewart trained pair Metro Mike and The Good Times clocked in third and fourth. David Aiken's My High Expectations took the win in the Group 3 Sumthingaboutmaori Trotters Free for All over 2240m earlier in the night, the seven-year-old defeating Sunset Invasion by 2.4m in 1:59.1. The Aiken stable had a winning double on the night, with eight-year-old Falcon Seelster horse Smudge Bromac taking out the Homestead Stud Claiming Pace with Josh Aiken in the cart. Meanwhile, Terang star Keayang Cullen continued his winning form by capturing the Blacks A Fake Free for All over 1720m with Jason Lee aboard. The six-year-old son of Christian Cullen has now won five straight races and his winning mile rate of 1:53.8 is the quickest he’s gone since his Inter Dominion heat win at Melton in February. Cody Winnell      

The battle for the title of leading 3 year old sire in New Zealand went on for most of the harness racing season between Mach Three, Bettor's Delight and Art Major. Mach Three grabbed an early advantage and although challenged by the other two sires throughout the season, he managed to stay in front and late in the season Mach Three broke away for a comfortable win. It was always going to be an interesting battle because for once Mach Three had more foals than Bettor's Delight and Art Major. This season's standings prove once and for all that numbers are critical and that there is very little if anything between these three great sires in Mach Three, Bettor's Delight and Art Major. Mach Three showed once again his ability to leave that champion with Venus Serena in outstanding form all season with her win in the Jewels truly memorable.  Venus Serena 1:52.1($399,104) was the leading stake earner of either sex this season while other fillies to show up were Te Amo Bromac 1:55.8 ($40,416) and Rockn Ruby 1:57.7 ($39,118). The best colts were headed by Regulus 1:56.3 ($54,936)  No Doctor Needed 1:57.1 ($51,565) and Cyclone Prince 1:57.1 ($49,718) Even with his large crop, Mach Three's percentages were excellent once again. Foals - 152 Winners (Aust / NZ) 71 % Winners/Foals - 46.71 Stake Money - (NZ) $ 1,359,350 Bettor's Delight had another outstanding year but due to the smaller size of this years crop, he was brought back to the pack and had to fight hard to maintain his spot near the head of the sires table. If it hadn't been for the Australian bred Willow 1:56.3 ($110,265), Bettor's Delight would have slipped to third overall behind Mach Three and Art Major. Bettor's Delights best colt was the super consistent Tiger Tara 1:55.2 ($298,461) while others of note were Maxim 1:56.6 ($78,546) and Alleluia 1:58.2 ($57,982) His best filly was the speedy Lancewood Lizzie 1:57.9 ($59,949) while others to show up were Millie Sampson 1:56.1 ($54,245) and Snooki 1:55.8 ($42,460). Foals - 109 Winners (Aust/NZ) - 45 % Winners/Foals - 41.28 Stakes - (NZ) $1,126,070 Art Major had another outstanding year especially considering that he had the smallest crop of 3 year olds of the leading three sires. It was a toss up who was his best colt with both Isaiah 1:54.6 ($241,778) and Sky Major 1:52 ($158,422) having credible claims to the title while the next best was Major Bubbles 2:00.1 ($45,033) The Art Major fillies were ok but not as good as some recent crops.  The pick of them were Asoka 2:02.2 ($26,275)  Sweet Art 1:58.3 ($24,925) and Simply Stunning 2:02 ($21,286). Foals - 95 Winners (Aust/NZ) - 46 % Winners/Foals - 48.42 Stakes - (NZ) $1,044,423 There was a large gap back to the fourth placed sire in Christian Cullen but he did sire the brilliant Locharburn 1:56.4 ($256,067) and the outstanding filly Libertybelle Midfrew 1:56.1 ($166,112) (Aust/NZ) so he still has plenty to offer. American Ideal held his own without looking like challenging the top three and again showed that ability to leave a top filly with Ideal Belle 1:54 ($176,409) being unlucky to strike one as good as Venus Serena. One sire to show up down the sires list was Western Ideal who had a crop of 3 year olds which numbered just ten. From that crop of ten Western Ideal produced four very smart individuals headed by the brilliant filly Raksdeal 1:54.9 ($101,023)  Ideal Power 1:56.4 ($41,047)  Jango Fett 1:55.9 ($29,928) and Gentle Western 1:55 ($17,000) who looked the best of the four until hurt in a race smash which ended his season. The trotting division looked tight early on between Majestic Son and Love You but Majestic Son just ran away with the title when the classics rolled around. King Denny 2:00.1 ($162,753) was easily the best 3 year old colt while Majestic Time 1:58.6 ($56,725) was just as easily the best 3 year old filly His stock were clearly on top by seasons end with a gap of nearly $200,000 between first and second. Monarchy claimed second with Love You close up in third and these two sires along with Majestic Son appear to have established a break on the other trotting sires available in New Zealand.. Venus Serena Harnesslink media

As the harness racing season ends on the 31st of July in New Zealand, Harnesslink thought it was an appropriate time to review how all the leading sires and other sires on the improve performed in each age bracket. First up is the 2 year old division. Two stallions dominated this division this year with Bettor's Delight and Art Major competing for divisional honours. To be fair the playing field was tilted rather dramatically in Bettor's Delight's favour by the fact that Bettor's Delight had 230 two year olds eligible to race while Art Major only had 85. As has become the norm worldwide it was the fillies by Bettor's Delight which really lifted him on the sires list. His three biggest stake earners for the season in Joanne's Delight 1:56.8 ($134,094) Linda Lovegrace 1:57.7 ($127,789) and Kate Perry 1:56.7 ($117,872) are all fillies and the only fillies to earn in excess of $100,000 this season that were bred in New Zealand. Bettor's Delight best colts were headed by Hug The Wind 1:56.8 ($102,332) Express Stride 2:00.2 ($76,660) and Bettor Spirits 1:59.1 ($61,601) Foals - 230   New Zealand bred winners (Aus / NZ) - 30 % of winners to foals - 13.04 NZ stakes - $871,314 For a sire with just 85 two year olds eligible to race, Art Major had a great year with runners in all the major races. The best colts were headed by Say My Name 1:57.9 ($87,673) Mighty Flying Major 1:58.4 ($60,156) and Art Union 1:58.4 ($56,853). The best fillies were headed by Fight For Glory 1:59.2 ($83,936) Unforgiving 1:57 ($45,263) and Art Critic 1:56.9 ($20,836) The elephant in the room for Art Major is of course Follow The Stars 1:53.8 ($272,080) with the Australian bred 2 year old dominating the juvenile scene in New Zealand. Foals - 85   New Zealand bred winners (Aus / NZ) - 16 % of winners to foals - 18.82 NZ stakes - $528,121 The third place getter on the sires list is the elite sire Mach Three. With a crop of just 73, Mach Three was up against it but it still was not one of his best years.. Mach Three did produce Chachingchaching 1:56.6 ($52,600) and Cyclone Kate 1:55.5 ($32,070) but his best performer was another of the Mark Purdon Australian imports in Supersonic Miss 1:54.1 ($137,128) who has legitimate claims to the two year old filly of the year title. The fourth place getter was Courage Under Fire who from a very small crop of just 23 did manage to produce the biggest stake earning 2 year old in New Zealand last season in Alta Orlando 1:56.2 ($141,749). Another that did not have his best year was super sire Christian Cullen who sired just two winners from 72 foals which by his very high standards is not like him. However Christian Cullen looks to have a very smart colt in Bracken Ridge and several qualifiers that look way above average so his stats look like they will come right at three. The best of the first season sires by a margin was the son of In The Pocket in Changeover. In Aust / NZ Changeover had 13 individual winners and plenty of qualifiers, which bodes well for his future. In the trotting ranks it was a two horse war all season between Love You and Majestic Son. It wasn't settled until late in the season with Majestic Son claiming a narrow victory on paper but it was very hard to separate them really. Monbet ($66,145) and Yaugunnakissmeornot ($26,180) starred for Love You while Wanna Play ($50,771) and Prince Feerless ($57,956) were the headliners for Majestic Son. The newcomer Angus Hall made a big impression with his first crop, finishing third overall and siring the most individual winners with the smallest crop of any of the top three sires. Harnesslink media

Young pacer Dobson (Christian Cullen) set a lifetime mark on Tuesday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Kevin Verdon owns and trains the four-year-old pacer who had just one lifetime start heading into this season. After breaking his maiden a few weeks ago, Dobson recorded his fastest ever mile last week when he came from well off the pace to finish four. On Tuesday night, reinsman Jay Randall moved Dobson to the update heading to the half mile pole and the young pacer had to endure a long first over journey before winning a photo with front running Ervin's Big Boy (Stephane Bouchard). Longshot Kennedy Blue Chip (Gerry Mattison) finished third in the $5,000 race for colt and gelding pacers. Dobson returned $11.00 to win in his second career victory. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with New York Sire Stakes action featured. First post time is set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

There is waiting a long-time between drinks and then there is dying of thirst and Tim Trathen probably came close to later. But if he continues to drive his promising trotter Summer Vacation and drives him in the way he did at Rangiora on Sunday he probably won’t have to wait another ten years before driving his next winner. The popular farrier trained a winner earlier in the season and one back in 2011 but on Sunday it was the first time Trathen had driven a winner since 2004. Sent straight to the front by Trathen, Summer Vacation was allowed to dictate terms in front before sprinting strongly in the straight to hold off the talented Commander Paris. He came his last half in 59.8 and his last quarter in 29.2 to hold on for a game win. By Dream Vacation out of five win mare In Command, Summer Vacation is a close relation to top race mare Meniscus. He was now had six starts for a win and a further three placings and has been driven by Trathen on each of those six occasions. Trathen has now trained 15 winners and driven 26 (since 1986) but is more widely known for his work as a blacksmith and a breaker. He did the early educating of Jewels winner Cowgirls N Indians before selling his share in the boom filly. Meanwhile, Madiba Magic broke the track record at Rangiora for a 2000 metre mobile when pacing the distance in a slick 2-24.8. Driven by Sam Ottley, the erratic Christian Cullen four-year-old was kept back from the gate early before lobbing the one-one. He then unleashed a powerful sprint in the home straight to overhaul stablemate Lumos and favourite Explosive Art. Madiba Magic is out of superstar Washington VC mare Foreal, who notched up a double for the weekend. Her smart Art Major two-year-old son Field Marshal was an impressive winner at Cambridge on Thursday and will now head to Australia for the Breeders Crown. By Mitchell Robertson

The Christian Cullen Mobile Pace for fillies and mares at the Waikato Harness Racing meeting at Cambridge this evening looked to be a benefit race for the smart Mach Three filly Zeta Bromac. The winner of four of her six lifetime starts had drawn perfectly at four for the 1700 meters mobile while her main competition Cyclone Kate had drawn poorly. Backed into microscopic odds by punters, Zeta Bromac went straight to the front and kept up a hot pace in front throughout. Turning for home Zeta Bromac looked to have the field in trouble until the smart two year old filly Cyclone Kate angled off from three back on the inner and stormed home for a narrow but impressive win. It was the third win in nine starts in her juvenile season for the daughter of Mach Three and showed  once again how dangerous she is with a soft run. Placed second earlier in the season in the $75,000 Young Guns Final to the very smart Democrat Party 1:56.1 ($60,524), Cyclone Prince is raced by a group of owners that includes New Zealand cricketer Kyle Mills and former Auckland Blues rugby player, Ant Strachan. Cyclone Kate paced the 1700 meters mobile in a very quick 2:02.08, a mile rate of 1:55.5 with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 28.3 Cyclone Kate is  from the Presidential Ball mare Eyre To The Throne 1:58.9 who won three of her five lifetime starts. The first foal from Eyre To The Throne is this years smart three year old Cyclone Prince 1:57.1 ($128,607) who is a full brother to Cyclone Kate.  The grand dam of Cyclone Kate is Erin Brockovich who is a full sister to the former champion juvenile, Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1,551,941). It is a family littered with classic winning horses and Cyclone Kate looks to have inherited all the family ability if tonights win is any guide. Harnesslink media    

One of the great difficulties that faces some harness racing sires as they go to stud is how they cope with expectations that have been raised for the sire by the performance and reputation of a sibling that is already established in the stallion ranks. Such are the hurdles that Julius Caesar has faced throughout his siring career. A smart performer at two in just four starts which included a great run for second in the $25,000 Sapling Stakes in 1:57.2, Julius Caesar's race career was curtailed at that point by injury. Due to the fact  that Julius Caesar is a full brother to the champion racehorse and sire Christian Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,249,150) meant that Julius Caesar was given a chance in the stallion barn when injury cut short his career. The issue for any young stallion in his initial years is not just the number of mares served but just as important is the quality of those mares he covers. Julius Caesar's connections decided to stand him at a low fee of $2,000 which surprised many people and discounts were available which meant although he got the numbers, the quality of the mares served was sadly lacking. While Julius Caesar left a lot of nice horses in New Zealand, he quickly made a reputation as a good solid middle of the road stallion but just a notch below the very best. Even though he left 120 winners in New Zealand, after six years at stud he was starting to struggle for mares and the decision was made to sell him to Australia. His appeal to Australian breeders was obvious as while his sons and daughters had done a good job in New Zealand, the numerous horses exported to Australia had done a great job of promoting their sire across the Tasman. Led by the Grand Circuit performer Gaius Caesar 1:51.6 ($477,751) who won the 2013 Group1  $200,000 Len Smith Mile at Menangle, the stock of Julius Caesar have laid a platform for the sire to join the stallion ranks in Australia. Gaius Caesar was joined by horses of the class of Our Chain Of Command 1:55.4 ($259,019)  Emperor Montana 1:54.9 ($210,183)  Julias Song 1:52.4 ($192,859)  Caesar Supreme 1:54.3 ($157,401) and Toretto 1:55.4 ($153,390) to name just a few of his smart performers and you can see why Australian breeders embraced the son of In The Pocket when he arrived in Australia. As of today the stock of Julius Caesar have won $3,097,460 in Australia to date. Add in $2,154,418 from New Zealand and Julius Caesar is starting to establish himself as a really successful sire. Standing for $3000+Gst, Julius Caesar covered 126 mares in his first season in Australia which resulted in 83 foals which are racing as two year olds in the 2013/2014 season. As of today Julius Caesar has had 13 starters for five winners for stakes totaling $100,639 which is a good start to his siring career in Australia. The star performer is undoubtedly Mister Wickham 1:55.9 ($44,725) who looks a classic horse in the making in his short career to date. With breeders keeping the faith in him by sending 78 mares in year two and 92 in year three, Julius Caesar looks to have been given a great opportunity to establish himself in the highly competitive  Australian stallion market.  Gaius Caesar winning The Len Smith Mile Harnesslink media    

Harness racing can be a cruel game at times with some horses forever seeming to have bad luck. The Bucket List would have to be near the front of that queue in the last twelve months with a run of bad luck you wouldn't wish on anybody. After The Bucket List had won four of his first seven starts, he was thrown in the deep end against the best of his age group at three. While he performed really well, it was a steep learning curve for the Christian Cullen entire and seem to shake his confidence for a while. A nice run for second behind Pass Them By 1:53.6 ($175,081), beaten a ½ neck in a 1:57.3 mile rate over 2200 meters convinced trainer Geoff Small to send The Bucket List to Ashburton for the 3 year old Harness Jewels. Although never a winning chance in a race run in 1:50.6, The Bucket List went super to run 1:52.1, beating home two very smart horses in Franco Nelson 1:53.1 ($425,446) and Elios 1:55 ($213,676) in the process. Reappearing at Alexandra Park in January 2014, The Bucket List looked ready to fulfill his early potential with a brilliant win, coming from last at the 500 meter mark to beat a field containing Ideal Belle 1:52.2 (pl) ($176,409)  Maxim 1:56.6 $396,913) and Sky Major 1:52 ($411,002). He paced the 2200 meters in a brilliant 2:39.4, a mile rate of 1:56.6 with closing sectionals of 56.7 and 28.3 and looked set for a huge season. But from that point on, The Bucket List has hit one brick wall after another. Renowned for having a lethal sprint if saved for one run, the Bucket List has had a succession of runs where he was late getting clear, blocked for a run or pushed back at the wrong time. The luck had to change eventually and last night at Alexandra Park, The Bucket List got the kind of run he has been seeking for a while now. Leading early in the 2700 meters stand, driver Philip Butcher took a trail after 400 meters and soon after was three back on the inner as the smart 3 year old Regulus went to the front. Thats where he stayed until they turned for home where he angled for a run up the passing lane and burst through late to win going away by two lengths. He paced the 2700 from a stand in 3:27.8, a mile rate of 2:03.8 with smart closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.6. It was his sixth lifetime win coupled with twelve placings which has seen him bank $76,945 in stakes to date. Now that his luck has turned, it wouldn't surprise anyone if The Bucket List strung a few wins together in the next few weeks. Harnesslink media  

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