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Rocker Band booked a start in the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final at Addington on May 9 when defeating last season’s Breeders Crown-winning 2YO filly Katy Perry at Methven on Sunday, February 22. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover and 2005 New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner shared favouritism with Katy Perry in the Hororata Trotting Club’s Nevele R heat on the grass. Both had turns at leading, with Rocker Band having the early gate speed to cross, then driver Ricky May elected to take a trail on Katy Perry nearing the final 800m. Rocker Band had the superior sprint in the run home, coming clear by 2 1/4 lengths in a useful 2:02.3 (1609m) on a drizzle-affected grass track. She was a slightly disappointing fourth at her previous start in the Ashburton Nevele R Heat for trainer Mark Jones, who expected more after securing the perfect trail. She was still racetimed in 1:55.6 there, but couldn’t go with the top Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen-trained fillies of Fight For Glory, who was too good in 1:54.5 from Linda Lovegrace and Supersonic Miss. Both Fight For Glory (New South Wales Oaks Heat) and Supersonic Miss (Pascoes The Jewellers Northern Oaks Prelude) complimented the Ashburton heat run by winning again last weekend. Rocker Band had also been earmarked for the New South Wales Oaks series, but the domestic Nevele R heat was a more suitable target after Ashburton. She was recording her second win at her fifth start for Queensland owner Greg Brodie. The Overport Lodge stable moved to 34 wins and crashed through the $300,000 stakes barrier for the season wtih Rocker Band’s success. The stable also produced Zakspatrol for an upset $40.80 win price in the hands of Kimberly Butt at Addington on Friday night. Kim was able to secure a good trail on the outer with the Grant and Katherine Hatton-owned Zakspatrol in the Blue Star Taxis Pace. They finished too well for Sunnivue Bay Boy, Little Lion Man and Mach’s Terminator in 3:21.5 for the stand start 2600m. The stable also went close at Auckland with trotter Charming Lavra, who ran a close second after moving up in the open for Blair Orange. Courtesy of Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here  

Yesterday we did a review of how all the harness racing sires fared at the two day sale at Christchurch this week. Now we turn our attention to Auckland and as expected the Australasian Classic was the success everybody thought it would be with a catalogue as strong as anything ever presented at Auckland. The one huge plus at this years sale was that the champion sire Bettors Delight ended up with with 35% of all horses sold at the sale. Between them Bettor's Delight, Art Major, Mach Three and American Ideal provided nearly two thirds of all the horses sold at Auckland which is such a help when it comes to averages overall. Bettors Delight Number Sold - 40 Overall average - $55,512 Colt average - $62,820 Filly average - $43,330 Just the backbone of the sale and his colt average for 25 sold of $62, 820 is outstanding for any standardbred sale worldwide let alone in New Zealand. Surprisingly for us his fillies averaged nearly $20,000 less than the colts which for a sire who is the best filly sire on the planet is a bit of a mystery to us. Art Major Number sold - 14 Overall average - $48,000 Colt average - $64,100 Filly average - $39,055 Compared to how he fared in Christchurch, Art Major had a stunning sale in Auckland. He has the highest colt average at $64,100 and his fillies brought money more in line with how they are performing on the track. The issue in New Zealand for Art Major has always been one of numbers in the sale due to him never breeding huge numbers of mares in this country. That changed this season when he served a book of 170 mares in New Zealand and therefore he should have a much bigger presence at the sales in the near future. Mach Three Numbers sold - 6 Overall average - $38,333 Colt average - $40,000 Filly average - $30,000 Those figures are a good indication of where Mach Three sits in the overall scheme of things.  Right up there with the big boys but commercially just a touch behind the other two sires above. Continues to have fluctuations in his numbers for sale due to foal numbers but does have bigger crops coming through so may have bigger representation in the future. American Ideal Numbers sold - 11 Overall average - $33,863 Colt average - $40,714 Filly average - $19,375 His numbers at Auckland were a lot better than they were at Christchurch but that was due entirely to one lot who made $150,000. We are still at a loss to explain the lack of demand for American Ideal fillies which have been his flag bearers in New Zealand. Hard to pinpoint what the problem is here with buyers overlooking his stock in favour of stock by sires he is matching on the track. It may just be the lag effect between racetrack performance and sale ring success but we will be watching closely next year for the uplift in prices his performance deserves. Somebeachsomewhere Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $36,625 Colt average - $42,500 Filly average - $34,333 As in Christchurch the SBSW were great types and were keenly sought after. The only Somebeachsomewhere colt in this sale went to the All Stars barn who have had some success with stock from his very small New Zealand crops to date. His biggest New Zealand crop are now foals on the ground and with the success at this years sales you would anticipate a much bigger representation at next years round of sales. Christian Cullen Number sold - 5 Overall average - $28,900 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $22,500  A bit surprising to see Christian Cullen struggle as much as he did in Auckland. Still in the frame as a commercial stallion as he proved at the two days in Christchurch but apart from one lot he was not wanted at this sale. His fillies in particular were marked down which considering their success over the years was a minor surprise. Rocknroll Hanover Number sold - 7 Overall average - $32,714 Colt average - $36,500 Filly average - $30,000 We didn't include Rocknroll Hanover in our Christchurch review as we took the view that being deceased meant he had a limited future impact on New Zealand sales. But having sold seven at Auckland and having such healthy figures persuaded us that we should include him in the Auckland review. A lot of breeders have used him over their Artsplace mares and horses bred on this cross are highly sought after world wide as this cross has produced six of Rocknroll Hanover's eight millionaires. Muscles Yankee Number sold - 3 Overall average - $42,333 Colt average - $43,500 Filly average - $40,000  Muscles Yankee only had the three lots in the whole sale but they all made over $40,000 so their is a real demand still for his stock. The maternal families of all three lots were top class which may have helped the overall result. Majestic Son Numbers sold - 3 Overall average - $34,500 Colt average - $52.500 Filly average - $25,500 The small number in the sale is due to the fact that Majestic Son only has eight yearlings on the ground in New Zealand Should have a much bigger representation next year as he served 161 mares in 2014 on the back of his earlier small crops performing so well. Overview  This sale is the best promotional tool that harness racing has in New Zealand but it has the potential to be so much better in our opinion By natural attrition of smaller breeders in the North, the sale has few lots by sires who are not in the elite group as the above statistics show. We firmly believe that the Australasian Sale could reach far greater heights if the following changes were implemented. *Limit the sale to 125 lots * Make it a select sale * Have a set number of places set aside for southern breeders. The whole point of the changes is to turn the Australasian Sale into an elite sale that dominates the top end market in Australasia. The thoroughbred breeders do it very successfully with K1 at Karaka and while we will never reach those heights we can close the huge gap a wee bit. Breeders in the north who don't get accepted for the Australasian Classic have a ready made alternative these days with the all age sale in May which has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Last year it hit a five figure average for the first time and the bench of buyers included most of the regulars on the New Zealand sales scene. We have a chance to position our industry in the best possible light with a smaller select sale at Auckland and it is something that we would hope would be considered by PGG Wrightson and The North Island Breeders Association.. Harnesslink Media

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

The first day of this years harness racing sales in Christchurch were held today and the contrast with yesterday in Auckland was quite marked. The top end looked after it self as it did in Auckland with four $100,000 sales on day one. The difference from Auckland was the middle market was no where near as strong as it was yesterday. Once again the top price was $200,000 and yet again it was for a Bettors Delight Colt. Named Bollinger he was consigned by Glenbrook Park Standardbreds of Mosgiel and is from the smart In The Pocket mare Asabella. The successful bidders were Emilio and Mary Rosarti who also took the highest priced filly home from Auckland. Bollinger Lot 174 Bollinger was the standout colt early in the day  but three other lots after him also hit six figures. The first of those was a real carbon copy of Christian Cullen in Lot 198. Named Circles, the Christian Cullen colt was from the smart Presidential Ball mare in Blackbird Fly and  was consigned by Norwegian Breeding Ltd and was sold to Terry Taylor of Pleasant Point for $100,000. Circles - Lot 198 The next $100,000 sale was not for a couple of hours after that when Lot 263 went through the ring. The upstanding son of Somebeachsomewhere from the In The Pocket mare Free As A Bird was keenly sought after by several buyers before Robert Dunn won the bidding duel when the price reached $100,000 The dam of Lot 198 Blackbird Fly and Lot 263 Free As A Bird are half sisters. Chicargo Styx - Lot 263 The last of todays lots to hit six figures was Lot 313 who was consigned by Ken and Anne Spicer. Named Wrangler, the son of Bettor's Delight is from a half sister to Venus Serena and was purchased by Ian Dobson of Christian Cullen fame. The bidding stalled for quite a while but then really took off and finished at $170,000. Wrangler - Lot 313 The sale overall had a healthy average of just over $27,000 for the lots sold on the day but the middle was held up by the Bettors Delights. The stallion averages were interesting as the figures below show: * Bettors Delight - 23 sold at an average of $56,108 * Christian Cullen - 12 sold at an average of $36,833 * Mach Three - 6 sold at an average of $32,666 * Art Major - 8 sold at an average of $24,937 The top priced trotting bred yearling on the day was Lot 204 and was consigned by Kevin Chapman of Amberley. Named Izmok, the colt by Muscles Yankee from Belle Galleon was keenly sought after by several buyers. The half brother to Stent and Arya was finally knocked down to the Charlie and Kaye Templeton of Invercargill for $90,000. The sale concludes with another 180 lots tomorrow. Full day results Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price   142 Windsor B C Monarchy Valley Of The Moon Mr. I. L. & Mrs. C. J. Lochhead Weedons Not sold, Res $18,000     143 Bay Richter B C Ohoka Arizona Vance Marie Messrs. J. M. H. Booth Leeston & H. L. Waretini Christchurch HOOF IT RACING STABLES LTD AUCKLAND $11,000 144 Arizona Highway B C Ohoka Arizona Van Ished Tregynon Farm Ohoka WM MULDREW & GJ ANDERSON MOSGIEL $10,000 145 American Rockstar BR C American Ideal Va Va Voom Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford MR RK & MRS RG MCCUTCHEON TEMUKA $21,000 146 Kat Supreme B F Rocknroll Hanover Village Dreamer Scherger Court Standardbreds Loburn Not sold, Res $30,000     147 Fiscal Madness C C Revenue Violette Millburn Farm Ltd Methven MR B NORMAN OWAKA $7,500 148 Devil Gate Drive B F Santanna Blue Chip Voodoo Doll Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks HUTTVIEW FARM LTD RAKAIA $2,000 149 Myidealson BR C American Ideal Warp Speed Toomebridge Stables Blenheim PI & GJ KENNARD B/STOCK CHCH $15,000 150 Western Sapphire B F Art Major Western Legend Legends Bloodstock Ltd Templeton PGW as agent CHCH $14,000 151 Tuakana B C Bettor's Delight Whenua Toliman Lodge Ltd West Melton Withdrawn     152 Zahven Banner BR C Bettor's Delight When You're Hot Banner Bloodstock Ltd Templeton JOHN MCCARTHY AUSTRALIA $30,000 153 Dave The Rave B C Live Or Die Winding Down Mrs. L. M. Jones Mrs. K. E. Hudson Christchurch Mr. D. W. Neal Riwaka & Mr. W. G. Barber Geraldine Withdrawn     154 Night Moves B C Changeover Wonderful Tonight La Grange Farm West Melton GREG O'CONNOR CHCH $20,000 155 Trusty Waihemo B C Bettor's Delight Waihemo Rainship Enterprise Breeding Ltd Christchurch D GALE HELENSVILLE $35,000 156 Sportzstar B C Sportswriter Zenara Bon-Accord Farm Westport Not sold, Res $30,000     157 Balfast B F Rock N Roll Heaven Zenardle Mr. L. C. Driver Amberley Not sold, Res $20,000     158 Kitura B F Mach Three Zitura Mr. M. L. Law Wellington Not sold, Res $17,000     159 Huey Maguire B C Courage Under Fire Zoe Maguire Jubilee Park Cambridge INNER MONGOLIA RIDER HORSE IND CHINA $16,000 160 Punter's Dream B C Bettor's Delight Zagami Mrs. C. M. Dalgety West Melton Mr. A. Zame Gisborne Lang Breeding Ltd & Mr. D. Zame Wellington PGW as agent CHCH $37,500 161 Miracle Rising B C Muscle Mass Whosinthenest Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford MR GAVIN SMITH KAIAPOI $19,000 162 Arden's Angel BL F Rock N Roll Heaven Achieve A Dream Arden Lodge Tapanui Withdrawn     163 Hare Razing B C Artsplace Achy Breaky Shufle Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd Auckland B BORCOSKIE RANGIORA $20,000 164 Kiwi Bloke B C Courage Under Fire A Good Kiwi Chick Equine Investments Ltd Christchurch M SHINN CHCH $42,500 165 Dolly Patron B F American Ideal Alice Patron Jordash Breeding Trust Christchurch JOHN HOWE CHCH $4,500 166 Gibbston Shard B C Santanna Blue Chip All Time Glory Shard Farm Standardbreds Ltd Invercargill MR D M MCKENDRY ASHBURTON $3,000 167 Angel Bromac B F Mach Three Amaretto Bromac Bromac Lodge Ltd Prebbleton ROBERT J WATSON AUSTRALIA $20,000 168 Ranes B C Love You Xena Hest Yabby Dam Farms Ltd NSW MATTHEW CRAVEN AUSTRALIA $33,000 169 Corporate Intent B C Christian Cullen Annika Sorenstam Twisted Stick Lodge McQueens Valley MR DA & MRS MJ HORTON INVERCARGILL $25,000 170 Waimac Attack B C Mach Three Another Sheila Mr. G. J. & Mrs. C. A. Bailey Cust & Mr. J. F. & Mrs. S. L. Wilson Rangiora Not sold, Res $40,000     171 Phoenix Arizona B C Badlands Hanover Arma Phoenix Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks Not sold, Res $12,000     172 Artistic Jewel B F Christian Cullen Art Lover Mr. J. E. Fokerd Wellington Not sold, Res $25,000     173 Mista Delight B C Bettor's Delight Art Of Perfection Mr. M. J. & Mrs. V. H. Gaylor Ashburton AS & DE MCVICAR GORE $21,000 174 Bollinger BR C Bettor's Delight Asabella Glenbrook Park Standardbreds Mosgiel EMILIO & MARY ROSATI AUSTRALIA $200,000 175 Phoebe Muscle B C Muscle Mass Ashley Sunset Phoebe Partnership Christchurch ROBBIE CLOSE RANGIORA $12,000 176 Rock N Roll Patron BR F Rock N Roll Heaven Anita Patron Mr. J. P. Henderson Christchurch S REID PUKEKOHE $30,000 177 Regal Aspirant B F Monarchy Aspiring Gal Roydon Lodge Stud Ltd Templeton Not sold, Res $30,000     178 Enghien B C Love You Another Starlet Millburn Farm Ltd Methven MR GP & MRS NM HOPE as agent KAIAPOI $20,000 179 Agincourt B C Sam Bourbon Zlata Dream With Me Stables NZ Ltd Christchurch RJ BUTT KAIAPOI $8,500 180 Lady Muscles B F Muscles Yankee Anreca Hest Thompson Bloodstock Limited Dunedin ALAN CLARK TIMARU $5,000 181 Onedin Gambler B C Bettor's Delight Ashanna Mr. W. E. & Mrs. P. M. Bain Roxburgh MR BARRY CLARK CHCH $12,000 182 Pretty Pins B F American Ideal Andress Blue Chip Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd Auckland TERRY MCPHERSON GORE $18,000 183 Highview Emjay B F Art Official Baptism Of Fire Baptism Breeding Ltd Riverton Not sold, Res $30,000     184 Lucas James B C Big Jim Aziza Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks COLIN HARRIS AUCKLAND $12,500 185 Lady Madonna B F Art Major Back In The USSR Norwegian Wood Breeding Ltd Leeston B PURDON CLEVEDON $16,000 186 Baileys Knight BR C Christian Cullen Baileys Delight Mr. A. J. Grant Springston INNER MONGOLIA RIDER HORSE IND CHINA $12,500 187 Arden's Beach Boy B C Somebeachsomewhere Ardensplace Arden Lodge Tapanui MR RJ PATERSON EQUINE LTD RANGIORA $35,000 188 Blues City Babe B F Gotta Go Cullect Beale Street Babe Twisted Stick Lodge McQueens Valley ANDREW ARMOUR INVERCARGILL $3,500 189 Beaudiene Angel BL F Changeover Beaudiene Bianca Beaudiene Breeding Otautau MR DA & MRS MJ HORTON INVERCARGILL $13,000 190 Ultimate Turbo B C Bettor's Delight Bee Jays Money Ultimate Breeding Westport PGW AS AGENT CHCH $60,000 191 Bella Figlia B F Art Major Bella Arden Equine Investments Ltd Christchurch S L MCCAFFREY CAMBRIDGE $12,500   Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price   192 One Bid Buys B F Muscle Mass Biddy Bid Yesberg Bloodstock Ltd Kaiapoi JB & JR DAVIES HAMILTON $17,000 193 The Best Christian B C Christian Cullen Anvils Delight Enterprise Breeding Ltd Christchurch Withdrawn     194 Ideal Blaze B C American Ideal Blaze Of Colour Mr. M. J. Prendergast West Melton MR T HARKNESS TIMARU $4,000 195 unnamed B C The Pres Blazing Pat Mr. B. G. Woodhouse Omakau Not sold     196 Millie Grey G F Monkey Bones Bonspiel Grace Mrs. S. M. Falconer Oturehua PGW AS AGENT CHCH $11,000 197 Trouble Pres BL C The Pres Boyzenberry Trouble Lodge Methven Withdrawn     198 Circles B C Christian Cullen Blackbird Fly Norwegian Wood Breeding Ltd Leeston TD & AV TAYLOR PLEASANT PT $100,000 199 Baileys Rock BL C Bettor's Delight Baileys Pearl Mr. A. J. Grant Springston CRAN DALGETY CHCH $60,000 200 Mortician C C Monarchy Bred A Monster Ms. M. A. Caig Winton Not sold, Res $10,000     201 That's The Story B C Monarchy Bree Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford Not sold, Res $25,000     202 unnamed B C Justa Tiger Black Minx Highview Standardbred Ltd Riverton Not sold     203 Bringitonhome BR C Courage Under Fire Bubba Ho Tep Mr. P. A. & Mrs. Y. A. Hogan West Melton MR GREG PAYNE CHCH $22,000 204 Izmok B C Muscles Yankee Belle Galleon Seavale Racing Amberley CT & KL TEMPLETON INVERCARGILL $90,000 205 Absolutely Unreal B F Gotta Go Cullen Brilliant Franco Beaudiene Breeding Otautau MR PAUL WALTON CHCH $9,000 206 Rock N Christian B F Rock N Roll Heaven Cantina Bon-Accord Farm Westport PGW as agent CHCH $11,000 207 Baby Bangles B F Art Major Boom Time Baby Regal Farm Victoria WESTMERE FARMING CO LTD ASHBURTON $20,000 208 My Blue Heaven BR F Rock N Roll Heaven Carnival Banner Mr. P. S. Fry Upper Moutere Not sold, Res $30,000     209 Jewels And Gems BR F Mach Three Cartier Glenbrook Park Standardbreds Mosgiel DOMENICO MARTELLO AUSTRALIA $71,000 210 The Artristocrat B C Art Major Catherine Zeta Mr. G. Chin Mosgiel MR PD BAGRIE KAIAPOI $30,000 211 Robbie Royale B C Raffaello Ambrosio Castle Royale Mrs. S. M. Falconer Oturehua MR B NORMAN OWAKA $10,000 212 Bettor Be Bad BR C Bettor's Delight Beaudiene Bad Babe Taffy Ltd Winton S REID PUKEKOHE $90,000 213 Chilli Franco B F Vintage Master Cherish A Franco Spreydon Lodge Ltd Halswell PGW as agent CHCH $7,000 214 Been A Long Time B C Rocknroll Hanover Child In Time La Grange Farm West Melton MR GH BENNETT RANGIORA $25,000 215 All Money B F Mach Three Cee Ash Rankin Bloodstock Ltd Christchurch JOHN HOWE CHCH $5,000 216 Eye For Fun B F Courage Under Fire Chloe Bromac Mr. G. W. Deakins Christchurch Not sold, Res $10,000     217 Millwood Tiffany B F Christian Cullen Chloe Hanover Ms. K. Carville Ohoka MJ & SJ LITTLE P/SHIP CROMWELL $16,000 218 Falcons Dazza B C Gotta Go Cullen Citybabe Mr. S. R. Baucke Invercargill MR JC HAY ASHBURTON $3,000 219 Over The Love C C Love You Cochy Bondhu Marrion Bloodstock Christchurch MR RJ PATERSON EQUINE LTD RANGIORA $25,000 220 Caleb Jones B C Sportswriter Classy Line NZ Bred Ltd Weedons INNER MONGOLIA RIDER HORSE IND CHINA $20,000 221 Johnny Podres B C Christian Cullen Brooklyn Dream Jordash Breeding Trust Christchurch B PURDON CLEVEDON $75,000 222 Cavalier Bromac B C Mach Three Congo Breeze Mr. T. A. Beaton Aylesbury & Bromac Lodge Ltd Christchurch JF CURTIN CHCH $32,000 223 Changearound BL C Changeover Cracker Kate Messrs. C. N. Radford Kaiapoi W. E. Radford Rangiora & Mrs. D. E. Richardson Rangiora Withdrawn     224 Champagne Bromac B F Courage Under Fire Cozette Bromac Bromac Lodge Ltd Prebbleton MR TF ASHBY CHRISTCHURCH $16,000 225 unnamed B C Justa Tiger Congo Smoke Highview Standardbred Ltd Riverton Not sold     226 Ideal Dash B C Western Ideal Coughton Court Messrs. D. M. Shammall South Australia & P. J. O'Rourke Christchurch N MCGRATH CHCH $25,000 227 Bettor Cruise B F Bettor's Delight Courage Aplenty Messrs. C. N. Radford Kaiapoi W. E. Radford Rangiora & Mrs. D. E. Richardson Rangiora JEFF WHEELER SPRINGSTON $18,000 228 Stompem B C Christian Cullen Crushem Mr. R. K. & Mrs. G. Wah Halswell KIRWEE SYNDICATE CHCH $42,500 229 Immer Besser BR C Bettor's Delight Cullen's Creation Tavistock Breeding Ltd West Melton PGW as agent CHCH $65,000 230 Ultimate Angel B F Bettor's Delight Cullens Katching Ultimate Breeding Westport MR A G HERLIHY PAPAKURA $4,500 231 Christmas Toyboy B C Christian Cullen Diana May Mr. P. F. & Mrs. C. L. Smith Weedons MR D A & MRS P A CHAPMAN ASHBURTON $25,000 232 The Dominator B C The Pres Domination Mr. S. G. Bell Timaru Not sold, Res $10,000     233 Classie Margaret B F Gotta Go Cullect Classie Emma Classiebawn Stud Prebbleton MR JH & MRS NJ GAMESON CHCH $7,000 234 Charming Major B C Art Major Charm Thee Regal Farm Victoria IAN GURNEY AUSTRALIA $22,000 235 Valet B C Bettor's Delight Corbell Birchbrook Breeding Ltd & Mr. S. J. Hooper Woodend Withdrawn     236 Pangani B F Mach Three Christian Watch Mr. G. A. Iggo Christchurch Withdrawn     237 Run Boy Run B C American Ideal Dakota Grace Cavalla Bloodstock Ltd Auckland P KERR KAIAPOI $16,000 238 President Roydon B C The Pres Dear Diedre Roydon Lodge Stud Ltd Templeton BUTTERWORTH RACING SYNDICATE AUSTRALIA $10,000 239 He's Official B C Art Official Delightful Lover Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford MR B MANGOS PUKEKOHE $14,000 240 Youneedabitofmuscle B C Muscle Mass Del's Hoof N It Mr. G. W. & Mrs. S. A. Hunt Leeston Withdrawn     241 Ideal Rule B F American Ideal Cullens Rule Paritai Farm Rakaia JASON LETHABY CHCH $6,000 Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price   Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price   242 Caviar Bromac BL C Vintage Master Crown Defender Bromac Lodge Ltd Prebbleton MR MARK JONES CHCH $27,000 243 Sportage Denario B F Sportswriter Dreamo Denario Denario Breeding Invercargill Not sold, Res $12,000     244 Tisadream B C Bettor's Delight Dreamy Atom Mr. V. L. & Mrs. D. L. Devery Invercargill DAMIAN KEATING AUSTRALIA $45,000 245 Styx Vixen B F Bettor's Delight Foxy Styx Styx Stables Christchurch BRAEVIEW LTD GORE $60,000 246 Cullinan B C Courage Under Fire Diamond Fleet Jordash Breeding Trust Christchurch MENTALLY STABLE CHCH $15,000 247 Donegal Tweed B C Love You Donegal Flat Yabby Dam Farms Ltd NSW EMILIO & MARY ROSATI AUSTRALIA $37,500 248 Eastwood Shadow BL C McArdle Eastwood Blue Jeans Messrs. L. R. Melhopt Prebbleton & T. C. Behrns Lincoln DAWE BLOODSTOCK RANGIORA $8,000 249 Editorial B C Art Official Edernay Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks MR PD BAGRIE KAIAPOI $12,000 250 Paddy Finn B C Christian Cullen Eilish Finn Mrs. H. M. Finlayson Templeton N MCGRATH CHCH $21,000 251 I Can Dream BL F If I Can Dream Ella Sue Netherwood Lodge Trust Blenheim MR JC HAY ASHBURTON $10,000 252 Elisa Mae Jones B F Four Starzzz Shark Emmy Jones NZ Bred Ltd Weedons MR TF ASHBY CHCH $6,000 253 Rock Stock N Barrel B F Rock N Roll Heaven Dudinka's Angel Mr. G. Chin Mosgiel Not sold, Res $17,000     254 Patanjali B F American Ideal Enchanter Franco P. I. & P. M. Renwick Farm Christchurch JAMES MCDONALD CHCH $5,000 255 Garry's Legacy B C Christian Cullen Essential Guest Hunterfield Balcairn CRAIG KENNEDY CUST $21,000 256 Righteous Brother B C Rock N Roll Heaven Falcon's Guest Jordash Breeding Trust Christchurch CLEMENCE DRILLING KAIAPOI $20,000 257 Pembrook Blue B C Santanna Blue Chip Dudinka's Star Pembrook Park Limited Ohoka MR R H NEGUS CHCH $4,000 258 Bettor Be Noisy B C Bettor's Delight Fire Dancer Ms. E. K. Fox Christchurch & Mr. L. N. Conner Stewart Island NEIL DARLINGTON AUSTRALIA $22,000 259 Mach's Back B C Mach Three Dream Angel Mr. M. J. Little Invercargill Not sold, Res $20,000     260 Convert Denario B C Changeover Ergo Denario Denario Breeding Invercargill Not sold, Res $8,500     261 Flying Mister D B C Bettor's Delight Flying Mrs Williams One Over Lodge Waimate WM MULDREW & GJ ANDERSON MOSGIEL $41,000 262 Wine Tutor B C Vintage Master For The Don For The Boys Partnership Christchurch MR STEVE DOLAN CHCH $20,000 263 Chicago Styx B C Somebeachsomewhere Free As A Bird Styx Stables Christchurch MR RJ DUNN CHCH $100,000 264 Frisky Bromac B C Bettor's Delight Fresco Denario Bromac Lodge Ltd Prebbleton Not sold, Res $30,000     265 Front Row B F Gotta Go Cullect Front Cover Lover Equine Investments Ltd Christchurch PGW as agent CHCH $16,000 266 Harpers Bazaar B F Santanna Blue Chip Front Page Girl Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks MR NJ & MRS MG GREEN ASHBURTON $2,000 267 On The Rantan B C Bettor's Delight Funontherun Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford CRAN DALGETY CHCH $85,000 268 Standing Bear B C The Pres Flashman Go Harness Racing Ltd Christchurch RJ & DM KING RAKAIA $15,000 269 October Affair B F Christian Cullen Exotic Maid Twisted Stick Lodge McQueens Valley Not sold, Res $7,500     270 Galleons Victory B C Muscle Mass Galleons Assault Mr. G. S. Allen Wellington BARRON BLOODSTOCK INVERCARGILL $15,000 271 Prime Galleon B C Bettor's Delight Galleons Respect Fanny Allen Family Trust Wellington PI & GJ KENNARD B/STOCK CHCH $70,000 272 Geena's Girl BR F Crazed Geena's Star DZ Partnership Dunedin TAVISTOCK BREEDING LTD WEST MELTON $7,500 273 Bettor Deal B F Bettor's Delight Gem Power P. I. & P. M. Renwick Farm Christchurch N MCGRATH CHCH $40,000 274 Captain Thunderbolt B C Panspacificflight Genuine Art Macca Lodge Ltd Gore Not sold, Res $20,000     275 Takemetothebeach B F Somebeachsomewhere Give Or Take Messrs. R. J. Paterson Rangiora & G. D. Scott Kaiapoi Not sold, Res $40,000     276 Ohoka Johnny BR C Ohoka Arizona Glentara Ms. K. Carville & Ms. T. Nicholas Ohoka CB & SJ MCPHERSON GORE $8,000 277 Bravo Denario B C Mach Three Goodtogo Denario Denario Breeding Invercargill AS & DE MCVICAR GORE $20,000 278 Livinginthefastlane B C Live Or Die Hanover Fair Mr. R. C. & Mrs. M. M. Beale Oamaru Withdrawn     279 Supreme Banner B C Christian Cullen Gretna's Best Banner Bloodstock Ltd Templeton P KERR KAIAPOI $26,000 280 Extra Blast B C Bettor's Delight Ginnie Moon Duncraigen Farm Ltd Wyndham AUCKLAND TROTTING CLUB 2016 TAKANINI, AUCKLAND $25,000 281 Kahmon BL F Monarchy Kahmotion Mr. B. J. & Mrs. L. A. Smith Burnham MR DAVID C THOMAS ASHBURTON $20,000 282 Fancy Schmancy B F Well Said Hallie Parker Jordash Breeding Trust Christchurch Not sold, Res $15,000     283 Serengeti Styx B C Art Major Gotta Go Hype Styx Stables Christchurch PI & GJ KENNARD B/STOCK CHCH $60,000 284 Squeeze B F American Ideal Harmony Franco PRB Bloodstock Ltd Christchurch A CONTE AUSTRALIA $5,000 285 Muscles Galore B C Muscle Mass Harriet Hughes Messrs. I. W. McNicholl & Mr. J. P. Baker Wellington Not sold, Res $45,000     286 Master Of Disguise B C Vintage Master Hidden Jewel Mrs. J. L. Smolenski Weedons MR GREG PAYNE CHCH $21,000 287 unnamed B C Well Said Highview Chartom Highview Standardbred Ltd Riverton Not sold, Res $35,000     288 Cometti B C Bettor's Delight Heavenly Franco P. I. & P. M. Renwick Farm Christchurch MR A G HERLIHY PAPAKURA $67,500 289 Roman Rebel B C Bettor's Delight Highview Chasue Mrs. H. Van Opzeeland West Melton M BROWN INVERCARGILL $40,000 290 Hilarious Magic B C Rocknroll Hanover Hilarious Leigh Mr. J. E. Fokerd Wellington Not sold, Res $30,000     291 Miss Fandango BR F Mach Three Hi Life Franco Mrs. M. E. McCarthy Oamaru K M BARRON CHCH $22,000     Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price   292 Better Than Most BL C Bettor's Delight Hi Speed Mr. M. J. & Mrs. V. H. Gaylor Ashburton MR GREG PAYNE CHCH $33,000 293 Save The Day B C Bettor's Delight Holmes Town Girl Glenbrook Park Standardbreds Mosgiel WARREN TAYLOR CHCH $22,000 294 Franco Hampton B C Christian Cullen Hunter Franco Spreydon Lodge Ltd Halswell MR JH & MRS NJ GAMESON CHCH $75,000 295 Art Collector B C Art Official Hurricane Dancer Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford KELK PARTNERSHIP RD 6 $15,000 296 Ohoka Sammy B C Art Major I Izz Sassy Ms. K. Carville Ohoka PGW as agent CHCH $25,000 297 Keepitinthefamily B C Monarchy In De Fence Mrs. W. I. Blakie Oturehua ARNA DONNELLY CAMBRIDGE $10,000 298 Ultimate JJ B F Somebeachsomewhere Inter Shape Ultimate Breeding Westport Not sold, Res $20,000     299 My Wee Man BL C Changeover Jenna Franco Mr. G. J. Crabbe Broadfield PETER BOAG GRETA VALLEY $18,000 300 Funky Monkey G F Monkey Bones Jani Franco NZ Bred Ltd Weedons Withdrawn     301 Love Insist BR C Love You Insist Enterprise Breeding Ltd Christchurch Withdrawn     302 Machinro B C Mach Three Inspiring Dash Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks CRAN DALGETY CHCH $45,000 303 Brylin Trouble BR C Brylin Boyz Ippica Ado Trouble Lodge Methven Not sold, Res $4,000     304 Real Obsession B F Real Desire Isabella Anvil Saratoga Farm Loburn MR GJ BURGESS CHCH $4,000 305 unnamed B C Well Said Ivy Rose Highview Standardbred Ltd Riverton Not sold, Res $25,000     306 Bakari B C Gotta Go Cullect Jacaranda Mr. G. A. Iggo Christchurch MR KK & MRS BG CHAPMAN AMBERLEY $24,000 307 Macador B C Mach Three J'Adore Bromac Mr. E. L. Basham NSW Not sold, Res $25,000     308 Franco June B C Vintage Master Jazz Franco Spreydon Lodge Ltd Halswell R & E WILSON PARTNERSHIP BALFOUR $7,000 309 Speedy Mach BR C Mach Three Initforfun Mr. M. J. Prendergast West Melton PI & GJ KENNARD B/STOCK CHCH $21,000 310 Credit Master B C Muscle Mass Jessicas Credit Arcadia Harness Racing Group Victoria MR AP & MRS LM NEAL CAMBRIDGE $12,000 311 Perchaya B F Vintage Master Jessica Vhea Asmara Farm Partnership Rakaia MR DA NEWTON ASHBURTON $3,000 312 Bettor Rock Again B C Bettor's Delight Jingle Belle Rock Yesberg Bloodstock Ltd Kaiapoi Withdrawn     313 Wrangler B C Bettor's Delight Jen Marie Rosedale Farm Ladbrooks ID DOBSON CHCH $170,000 314 Artful Annie B F Art Major Jubilee Franco Tregynon Farm Ohoka Withdrawn     315 Queen Boudicea BR F Well Said Julia R Messrs. G. Banks & M. Hanover, USA N MCGRATH CHCH $22,000 316 Just Deal It B F American Ideal Justalert Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Coes Ford IAN GURNEY AUSTRALIA $32,500 317 Roger F B C Muscle Hill Justine H Yabby Dam Farms Ltd NSW Withdrawn     318 Brave Warrior B C Badlands Hanover Just Jayne Ultimate Breeding Westport D GALE HELENSVILLE $6,000 319 Muscle Moment B C Muscle Mass Juverna Gower Terraces Farm Partnership Cheviot J DAVIES & N ALEXANDER AUSTRALIA $17,000 320 Matua Tana B C Love You Kahola Mr. B. J. & Mrs. L. A. Smith Burnham Not sold, Res $55,000   Harnesslink Media

A lot of claims are made every year by various vendors about their yearlings which are being offered for sale at the annual round of the harness racing yearling sales. Some bring a smile to your face when reality is bent out of all shape but every now and then you come across a screed about a yearling whose breeding just cannot be faulted. We would defy anyone to find fault with the pedigree page of Lot 133 at this years Australasian Classic  Yearling sale. The yearling in question is Kharizma who is a daughter of the champion sire Bettor's Delight and is the first foal from the very talented Christian Cullen mare in Temepara Cullen 1:56.1 ($40,143) Temepara Cullen is a daughter of Vicario who was the 2010/ 2011 Broodmare Of The Year. Vicario's star performer was the full brother to Temepara Cullen in Stunin Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,493,716) whose 18 wins included a Hunter Cup, Great Northern Derby and a Ballarat Cup. Vicario left six winners altogether including the very smart Coburg 1:56.8 ($201,312) who was the New Zealand four year old mare of the year in 2003/2004. Coburg has already produced the smart two year old filly in Veste 1:57.1 ($106,024) who won the Caduceus Club Classic (Group 1) Veste is by Christian Cullen making her a three quarter sister to Temepara Cullen The third dam Burgundy Lass left the dual New Zealand Cup winner in IL Vicolo 1:56.7 ($1,580,948) and also the dam of Gotta Go Cullen 1:58.3 ($1,173,343). So in one pedigree we have three millionaires within the first three dams and the dam of the filly to be sold is a 1:56 .1 full sister to one of those millionaires. It just doesn't get any better than that and with Bettors Delight on the top line the package is complete. Kharizma has as good a pedigree as you will find in the catalogue and from the video she looks a filly with a lot of presence to boot. Harnesslink Media

One person who has been having a great run over the last few weeks is Studholme Park proprietor Brian West who just seems to have a new winner at every meeting lately. Brian made the decision a few years ago to retain most of his fillies as he was finding it hard to get a return at the sales on his fillies. Those fillies now go to trainers all over New Zealand and he has had some lovely fillies and mares in the last few years but even Brian must have been gobsmacked recently with the level of success he has been enjoying lately. Breeding to sell for nearly 30 years, Brian has established a quality brood mare band and has been churning out  quality winners for most of that time. Several generations of some of our more successful families are now recognized as a Studholme Park product and his yearlings are keenly sought after each year. Having sold a lot of fillies earlier on at the sales, a lot of the "Studholme " families fillies from that time are spread around Australasia at various studs. Several of those have progeny tracing back to fillies sold by Studholme Park in this years sales. One from the videos that took our eye was Lot 121, Lerato at the Australasian Classic Sale. A daughter of leading Australasian sire Art Major, Lerato is the first foal from the very smart Christian Cullen mare in Suidelike Meisie 1:57.1 ($79,484) She was good enough to make a Harness Jewels Final at Ashburton but her best run was when she ran second to the champion Terror To Love 1:51.1 ($2,395,091)  in a 1:57.2 mile rate for 2200 metres at Alexandra Park. This is the family that got Brian West going all those years ago when Defoe 1:53 ($423,272) burst on to the scene and it has continued to produce classic winning types ever since. Horses such as All Systems Go 1:51.2 ($376,267)  Silver Lined Pocket 1:50.2 ($354,658)  Dream Out Loud 1:48.8 ($322,746) and Secret Potion 1:57.1 ($285,313) have kept this family in the spotlight. Lerato has really thrown to the dam with a real Christian Cullen look about her and looks well placed to add further kudos  to her great maternal family. Harnesslink Media  

From the time In The Pocket hit the harness racing scene in New Zealand he has been a star. His first crop contained Christian Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,249,150) and Under Cover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,923)  while his second crop included the champion juvenile Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1,551,941) The progeny of In The Pocket have won $18,250,055 in New Zealand and his broodmares have been an instant hit in the broodmare barn with $16,941,556 in the bank already and plenty more to come yet. One breeding cross that has produced some talented fillies in the last few years is that of Artsplace over a daughter of In The Pocket or vice versa. This cross has produced such talented types as Annie McGuire 1:53.2 ($280,060) and Exotic Lover 1:55.5 ($110,336) and has been seen a bit more after that initial success. In this years sales the cross is present in Lot 105 at the Australasian Classic Sale in Auckland. Fullofheart  is her name and she is a daughter of Artsplace from the In The Pocket mare Pocketfullofposies. Qualified but only lightly raced, Pocketfullofposies has already left three winners including the smart son of McArdle in Mickey McRooney 1:55.8 ($41,067) The grand dam is the five win Smooth Fella mare Jayvee 2:00.5 who has left seven winners to date including the outstanding grand circuit pacer Sovereign Hill 1:55.5 ($432,555) Black Reef 1:51.8 ($326,846) and Ohara 1:58.8 ($134,131) Half sisters to Pocketfullofposies have left such talented pacers such as Dartmoor 1:55.8 ($416,575) J Walker 1:58 ($173,291) and Bettor Dreams 1:54.6 ($172,542) The third dam is the New Zealand Broodmare Excellence Award winner in Aberfeldy who has done such an outstanding job in the broodmare barn. This is widely recognized as the strongest branch of the famed Black Watch family and with all the smart racehorses close up in the pedigree you can see why. Fullofheart ticks a lot of boxes being by Artsplace from an In The Pocket grand daughter of the brilliant broodmare Aberfeldy and should have plenty of residual value once she has finished racing. Harnesslink Media  

A lot of harness racing breeders in New Zealand will argue for ever about what is the best maternal family. There are usually two main contenders with the Black Watch supporters in the north lined up against the Sakuntala supporters in the south. Both mares have established branches of top families with outstanding success records and you could make a compelling case for either. The Sakuntala success story is forever connected with Father Dan Cummings and Tuapeka Lodge at Lawrence. From the late 1970s, Sakuntala has ruled the southern based yearling sales in the same way that Black Watch has done in the north. Champions such as Monkey King 1:54 ($3,487,401) and Iraklis 1:54 ($1,019,042) kept the Sakuntala name in the headlights with so many other quality horses to back those two champions up. There are plenty of the Sakuntala breed in the sales this year but one of the best without a doubt is Lot 101 at the Australasian Classic at Auckland. Named Lawton Luck, this son of champion sire Bettor's Delight is the first foal from the very smart Christian Cullen mare in Paddy Brown 1:57.7 ($46,726). Paddy Brown is one of six winners left by the former high class mare in Braeside Star 1:56.6 ($67,225) who was second in the Great Northern Oaks, 3 year old fillies Sire Stakes Final and the Ladyship Stakes. Other winners from Braeside Star include Braeside Derby 1:54.2 ($160,784) Ohoka's Artsplace 1:57.9 ($87,131) and Johnny Bravo 1:58.4 ($45,591) and an unraced daughter in Braeside Lady is the dam of the 2011/2012 New Zealand three year old filly of the year in O Baby 1:54.8 ($378,626) O Baby won the New Zealand Sires Stakes final at two, the Harness Jewels Diamond at three along with the New Zealand and Queensland Oaks. The third dam of Lawton Luck is one of the jewels in the Sakuntala crown in Tuapeka Star 1:59 who won 22 races in New South Wales and Victoria before going to stud at Tuapeka Lodge In Lawrence and producing Iraklis 1:54 ($1,019,042) and the dams of Monkey King 1:54 ($3,487,401) and Lavros Star 1:50 ($555,313). Lawton Luck has the real "Blue Blood" pedigree and judging by the video, the looks to go with it. This is one horse who should keep the auctioneers busy on Monday week. Harnesslink Media   

Harness racing breeders in New Zealand have always looked to North America for breeding stock from the time the industry was first getting established in this country. A lot of our leading maternal families trace back to imported mares from North America that came to New Zealand  over 100 years ago and that trend of importing mares continues today. A lot of the major studs have brought in the mares over the years and one that has made her mark in New Zealand is the Abercrombie mare, No Paba. Imported by the late Wayne Francis for his broodmare band at Nevele R Stud, No Paba produced the outstanding Nearea Franco 1:54.4 ($441,405) who counted a Harness Jewels, Premier Mares Championship and the Queen Of Hearts amongst her eleven wins. Her first foal at stud was last years outstanding three year old filly Nike Franco 1:52.6 ($158,891) who won twelve of her sixteen starts in Australia last season. Her two year old daughter by Bettors Delight in Nyree Franco looks to have inherited all the family ability judging by her performances at trials in Canterbury recently The reason Wayne Francis went to all the trouble of importing No Paba was because she is a half sister to the outstanding racehorse and sire Beach Towel. Beach Towel 1:50 ($2,570,357) won 29 of his 36 starts on the track and was just as good in the stallion barn leaving close to $50,000,000 worth of winners. Another very close relative to Beach Towel imported to New Zealand was the On The Road Again mare Watch Your Step 1:54.4 who is the dam of the very smart Northview Punter 1:53 ($409,320) as well as Announcement 1:51 ($356,681) and Stopwatch 1:51.2 ($280,312). A few of this family have made their way to the yearling sales and one of those this year is Lot 93 at the Australasian Classic yearling sales in the Christian Cullen colt Veluti. His dam Neat Franco won once from just three starts but more importantly she is a full sister to Nearea Franco. Neat Franco has already left a winner in Won't Be Denied 1:59.6 and her son Veluti really has that Christian Cullen look about him. With the results achieved by a string of his close relatives in Australasia including the likes of Nearea Franco, Nike Franco and Northview Punter,  Veluti has plenty to recommend him to buyers. Harnesslink Media  

Last time New South Wales’ leading harness racing trainer Shane Tritton trekked south to Victoria in search of Group One glory he found it via Marty Monkhouser. Driven by partner Lauren Panella, the Tritton-trained Marty Monkhouser completed a stylish win in the Breeders Crown Final. The Tritton/Panella combo has dominated the local scene this season, with Panella the leading with 86 wins from 232 drives and Tritton on top of the trainers’ ladder with 93 wins from 352. The pair also leads the metropolitan premiership tables – Panella with 18 winners from 90 starts and Tritton with 18 triumphs from 133 starts. On Saturday night the power pair return to Tabcorp Park Melton in search of more top-level success when Easy On The Eye contests the A G Hunter Cup and Artistic Flite takes his place in the Victoria Derby. Easy On The Eye is fresh from his Goulburn Cup success in 1:57.2, covering the last half 56.9. The son of Christian Cullen hasn’t been in top form since joining Team Tritton, securing a berth in last year’s Miracle Mile after running third in the Group 1 Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint behind Beautide and Guaranteed. “We’re really happy with him,” Tritton said. “He was running at Grand Circuit level and performing quite well in New Zealand and is building up a nice reputation in Australia. We’re pretty optimistic.” Easy On The Eye is a long-shot with the TAB $41 after drawing wide in eight. Artistic Flite burst into Derby calculations with an astonishing mid-week 63.4-metre Newcastle win two starts back. Although the son of Artistic Fella could only run fourth in his Derby heat last weekend, Tritton stated the colt is “worth another chance”. “He was probably asked to do a bit too much that night,” Tritton said. “It was a windy night and not a lot of horses in the chair went real well. “The plan will be to come out quick and get to the pegs first. That gives you a chance.” Artistic Flite has drawn better in gate four as opposed to his inside the back row position last week. Tritton and Panella will also combine with Yayas Hotspot in the Four-Year-Old Bonanza and Chance, which is emergency for the Harness Breeders Victoria Ladyship Cup. HRV Media

Harness racing went through a lot of changes in the 1980s just like the rest of the country and one aspect of that at the time was the emergence of companies such as National Bloodstock who were media darlings until the share market crash of 1987. National Bloodstock changed the way the whole industry operated and many of the things they brought to the table at the time have had an enduring effect on harness racing in New Zealand. One thing they did was to import several young broodmares from North America and those mares have left some wonderful pacers and trotters over the last twenty five years.  One of those pacing mares that National Bloodstock imported was the daughter of Temujin called  Tabella Bindy. Covered by National Bloodstock's elite sire Soky's Atom, the first foal from Tabella Bindy was the outstanding colt Desperate Comment 1:55.7 ($1,033,065) who won 28 races on both sides of the Tasman including the Victoria Cup. Tabella Bindy went on to leave eight winners in total and her daughters and grand daughters have continued to produce quality racehorses. One grand daughter in the Christian Cullen mare in Maid In Splendour 1:56.1 ($61,825) has her first foal cataloged in this years Australasian Classic Sale at Auckland. Named Never Say Never he is a colt by champion sire Bettor's Delight. Maid In Splendour is one of seven winners left by the smart half sister to Desperate Comment in Diamonds N Gold 1:56.5 ($37,883). Diamonds N Gold's  best performer was undoubtedly Diamonds N Furs 1:54.5 ($231,399) who won 22 races in Australia. Another half sister to Diamonds N Gold in Diamond Belle 1:56.7 left the very smart Chance 1:52.5 ($152,838) While National Bloodstock mat not have survived very long, their influence on harness racing in New Zealand continues to be felt 25 years later. Harnesslink Media   

Every year at the harness racing sales in New Zealand, our Australian cousins have to look at a pedigree page and try to judge the quality of the bloodstock mainly on the strength of their performances in New Zealand. As many have explained to us over the years, they find it easier when there is one or two close relatives racing in Australia which gives them a bettor idea of the true worth of the pedigree as they see it. Therefore why a lot of Kiwi buyers are aware of the relative merits of horses on a pedigree page, some Australians will gravitate to lots with which they have a familiarity. One lot at this years Australasian Classic that fits that profile to a tee is Lot 77, Snoozeyouloos. Most of the notable winners close up in the pedigree have done the majority of their racing in Australia. A son of champion sire Bettors Delight, Snoozeyouloos is the third foal from the young Christian Cullen mare in Kelly Maguire. Her first foal is the full brother to Snoozeyouloos in Burnaholeinmypocket p2 1:57 who looked top class in a handful of starts at two in Australia last season. His best performance was his win in the semi final of the Australasian Breeders Crown where he defeated Kept Under Wraps 1:57.1 ($134,595) and Show Me The Bling 1:55.7 ($44,207) The grand dam of Snoozeyouloos is the very smart racemare in Flash Atom 1:55 ($275,853) who was four year old mare of the year in New Zealand before winning a further 21 races in North America. Her progeny have in the main found their way to Australia with Donavan Maguire 1:59.3 ($37,110) and Barney Maguire 2:00.7 ($32,329) two of her better performers. This is the maternal family made famous by the late Ben Grice and it continues to produce classic winners to this day. Australian visitors will know the quality of Burnaholeinmypocket 1:57 and it would come as no surprise if Snoozeyouloos ends up in Australia after the sale as well. Harnesslink Media  

One of the great success stories of the last fifteen years in the harness racing industry in New Zealand has been the opportunity afforded the best of our home bred champions to compete in the stallion barn with their North American super sires that are now available to us. We have one stallion to thank for that change in mindset and that is of course Christian Cullen. Before he came along the emerging availability of the best sires in North America via shuttling or frozen semen looked certain to relegate New Zealand bred stallions to a supporting role away from the main stage. Christian Cullen exploded on to the scene from day one and proved that he was every bit as good as the stallions with imp besides their name. His success gave studs the confidence to buy and stand our best performers against the imports, a trend we are still seeing with Auckland Reactor receiving such huge support in his first two years at stud. Never blessed with the best fertility in the business, Christian Cullen's numbers have dropped in the last few years but any quick view of the racing scene will quickly show the influence he still has on harness racing down under. Last season's Australasian Grand Circuit champion Christen Me has carried on where he left off last year this season and looks odds on to win the crown again. Franco Nelson is another emerging superstar and while injured at the moment, Locharburn looked a champion in the making throughout his stellar three year old season. There are only five Christian Cullen's entered for this years Australasian Classic Sale in Auckland and having looked at the available videos and photos, the one that took our eye is Lot 73, Lorde O Lorde. This striking dark bay colt has a real Christian Cullen look about him. He is from a young Falcon Seelster mare in Karlysia and is her third foal. Karlysia was unraced but is a half sister to five winners, four of them in 1:58.5 or better including the very smart Statesman 1:50.4 ($414,504) who being by Christian Cullen is a three quarter brother to Lorde O Lorde. Other siblings of Karlysia include Imperative 1:55 ($65,569) and the the talented racemare Monaro 1:58.5 ($43,770) whose progeny include the smart racemare Maloo 1:54.7 pl ($55,880) who ran fourth to Adore Me in the Harness Jewels last year and this seasons very promising two year old in Walkinshaw 1:59.5 As Christian Cullen has shown repeatedly, he is still churning out those high class colts every year and Lorde O Lorde has certainly got that Christian Cullen stamp on him. Harnesslink Media  

Outstanding New Zealand mare Adore Me is favoured to join an elite harness racing fraternity at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Engaged in the A G Hunter Cup, Adore Me has been posted as the $2.70 top elect with TAB Fixed Odds after drawing ideally in three. Should the Mark Purdon-trained star emerge triumph, she will become just the third pacer to capture Australasia’s two biggest handicaps – New Zealand and Hunter Cups. In what could be a good omen for Adore Me’s connections and supporters, the two which have achieved the milestone are Kiwis. Blossom Lady was the ground breaker, having won her homeland’s major in 1992. The wonder mare then annexed the Hunter Cup in 1994 and ’95 to become just fifth champion to successfully defend their crown. Springfield Globe set that benchmark in 1961 and ’62, followed by Monara in 1973 and ’74, Pure Steel in ’77 and ’78 and Blossom Lady. Yulestar followed Blossom Lady’s example when he completed the Trans Tasman double in 2000. An eye-catching third in last weekend’s Victoria Cup, Adore Me is expected to thrive under the gruelling conditions of the 3280-metre handicap. Adore Me’s ‘nephew’ and defending Hunter Cup title holder - Christen Me – shapes as her main danger. A brilliant Victoria Cup winner, Christen Me is sitting on $3.80 after drawing four. By Christian Cullen, Christen Me is from Spendid Dreams, a half-sister to Adore Me, which is by Bettors Delight. Guaranteed shapes as the best of the locals, with TAB placing the Emma Stewart-trained stallion on $6 after drawing 11. Guaranteed will follow Christen Me through at the start. Related Links Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 07 February 2015 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 07 February 2015 PAUL COURTS

Boom New Zealand pacer Christen Me is a firm favourite in his quest to join an elite harness racing fraternity. Within moments of the star’s brilliant Victoria Cup win at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, TAB reacted by cutting Christen Me’s quote for next week’s A G Hunter Cup to $3.60 on Fixed odds. Earlier this week Christen Me was on the third line of betting at $6. The Cran Dalgety-trained gelding is aiming to become just the fifth champion to successfully defend his crown since the time-honoured event’s inauguration in 1949. Springfield Globe was the ground breaker in 1961 and ’62, followed by Monara in 1973 and ’74, Pure Steel in ’77 and ’78 and Blossom Lady in ’94 and ’95. Minuteman Man is the only other dual winner having scored in 1964 and ’66, while Pure Steel also boasts a third triumph thanks to his 1980 success. Thrilled with Christen Me’s form, Dalgety is confident the six-year-old can complete consecutive Hunter Cup wins. “I couldn’t be happier with him,” Dalgety said. “He has pulled up a treat from tonight’s run and is ready to go again. “The draw will play a role in next week’s Hunter Cup, but I’m going into this even more confident with him than last year.” As for his latest win, Christen Me began brilliantly to lead from barrier six, with driver Dexter Dunn maintaining a steady tempo as Guaranteed worked at his wheel. Slipped more rein along the back straight, Christen Me was never in danger of defeat as he cruised to a two-metre win from Lennytheshark, which trailed the pacemaker throughout. After gaining a three-wide trail at the bell, Adore Me was three-and-a-half metres away third. “From six, going back at the start wasn’t really an option, so I thought I’d chance my arm and come out looking for the lead,” Dunn said. “Down the back he was travelling so well and when I turned for home I knew I had them covered.” Covering the last half in 54 seconds, the son of Christian Cullen – which finished third in the 2000 edition of the feature - rated 1:55 for the 2240 metres. Christen Me provided Dalgety his fourth win in the Grand Circuit event, having prepared Desperate Comment in 1996 and ’97 and Bettor Strike in 2009. The latter was driven by Dunn. PAUL COURTS

One of the forgotten stars of harness racing will make his return at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Sidelined since November 2013, Chancellor Cullen will be first-up in The Pure Steel for trainer Dean Braun. Before injury halted his career, Chancellor Cullen was regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the country, boasting 11 wins and three seconds from 16 Australian starts. The stallion’s victories include the McInerney Ford Classic, Melton Plate, The Graduate and Kilmore Cup, with the latter two handicaps - the same conditions as this weekend’s assignment. Although Chancellor Cullen is returning from a long spell, Braun is confident the six-year-old son of Christian Cullen is ready to kick-start his career on a winning note. “He had a slight strain in his suspensory, and although we could have pushed on with him, we felt he was too good to risk,” Braun said. “We’ve always had such a high opinion of him and felt a long break was the better option.” Drawn five, Chancellor Cullen faces tough opposition from New Zealand raider Bit Of A Legend, along with locals Smudge Broman and Savesomtimetodream. “Although he hasn’t raced for a while, he has had plenty of ground work and will be forward enough for this,” Braun said. Citing the Inter Dominion as Chancellor Cullen’s main mission, Braun has also earmarked next week’s A G Hunter Cup. Heats of the Inter Dominion are scheduled to be run on February 14, with the Final at Menangle on March 1. “I’d like to see him in the Hunter Cup, but it depends on how he gets through this week,” Braun said. “We are definitely looking at the Inter Dominion with him.” PAUL COURTS

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