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New Zealand harness racing star Christen Me has arrived in Australia early in an attempt to acclimatise ahead of Saturday night’s Miracle Mile. While trainer Cran Dalgety stayed at home in Christchurch, the son of Christen Cullen has settled in at the Sydney stables of Blake Fitzpatrick, where temperatures soared past 40 degrees. “I sent my travelling foreman over with Christen Me a little bit earlier than normal just to make sure he would be acclimatised to the Aussie weather,” Dalgety said. “They tell me it got pretty hot, but he has coped with it really well, and I thought it was better to get him over there and get him ready for the possibility of hot weather rather than turn up a few days before and have him melt when he got off the plane.” Christen Me will head home after the Miracle Mile, with Dalgety keen to return for next year’s Inter Dominion at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “He wasn't ready to race in everything last year and that’s why we missed the Inter Dominion, but we will be there with bells on next year.” GREG HAYES

Connections of outstanding New Zealand pacer Christen Me are hoping he can emulate his father by capturing harness racing’s ultimate speed test on Saturday night. Christen Me will contest the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle, a race his sire captured almost two decades ago. Trained by Brian O’Meara, Christian Cullen blitz his rivals in the 1998 edition of the Grand Circuit gem when driven by Danny Campbell. An odd-on favourite at 11/8, Christian Cullen scored by 20 metres from Tailamade Lombo, with Our Sir Vancelot four metres away third. In a performance that drew comparisons to the great Popular Alm, Christian Cullen rated a brilliant 1:54.4 for the 1760 metres, with his time just two-tenths of a second outside Iraklis’ record established in two years earlier. Should Christen Me emerge triumphant, it will also be the first time a Miracle Mile champion has produced a subsequent winner. Drawn barrier four for astute trainer Cran Dalgety, Christen Me is in “perfect shape” for the 1609-metre dash. “I couldn’t be happier with him,” Dalgety declared. “He has come through his two runs during New Zealand Cup week in great condition and is primed for this. “Going into last year’s Miracle Mile when he finished second he hadn’t recovered from the New Zealand Cup week as well, so I’m expecting him to be even better this time.” Citing defending champion Beautide as the one to beat, Dalgety stated he will instruct driver Dexter Dunn to ‘stalk’ the locally-trained gelding. “Beautide is the one to beat and we will stalk him everywhere he goes,” Dalgety said. “From four we should have the chance to follow Beautide right from the start and hopefully get the drop on him and the rest of the field in the home straight.” PAUL COURTS

Before yesterday’s barrier draw, trainer Shane Tritton stated Easy On The Eye could win harness racing’s premier sprint – Miracle Mile – if drawn well. With the son of Christian Cullen set to begin from the pole in the Grand Circuit gem, Tritton is convinced an upset is on the cards. One of the outsiders of the field, Easy On The Eye is paying $16 TAB Fixed Odds, with defending champion Beautide a prohibitive $1.80 favourite for Saturday night’s Menangle showdown. “I’ve said all along he is capable of leading from the right draw and could go all the way under the right conditions,” Tritton declared. “Now he’s got a pearler draw and without doubt he can lead throughout. “He prefers to be rolling along and his best chance is to keep the speed on and take the puff out of the others.” A last-start third behind Beautide and Guaranteed in the Coca-Cola Sprint a fortnight ago, Easy On The Eye has improved since the outing according to the premier horseman. At his previous start the six-year-old won a restricted race at Newcastle in 1:54 over the 1609-metre dash. “He’s done well in his two starts for us and has improved in his track work since,” Tritton said. “He is still adjusting to our way of training, but has come along in leaps and bounds. “He is ready to rock ‘n roll.” PAUL COURTS

Harness racing superstar Beautide is has been installed an odds-on favourite to retain his Miracle Mile crown at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. With the draw for the SEW-Eurodrive sponsored event conducted just moments ago, TAB responded by cutting Beautide’s price to $1.75. Earlier this week the James Rattray-trained gelding was $2.60 on Fixed Odds markets. Drawn well in barrier three, Beautide is aiming to become just the seventh Miracle Mile winner to successfully defend his crown since the Group One’s inauguration in 1967 when annexed by wonder mare, Robin Dundee. Former champion Westbrun Grant was the ground breaker with his wins in 1989 and ’90, followed by Chokin (’93-’94), Holmes D G (1999, 2000), Sokyola (’03-’04), Be Good Johnny (’05-’06) and Smoken Up (’10-’11). Village Kid is the only other dual winner of the prestigious sprint, having scored in 1986 and ’87. The Western Australian’s victories were split by Master Mood when two Miracle Miles were conducted in 1986. New Zealand star Christen Me is the second elect at $5 after receiving barrier four. A member of the Cran Dalgety stable, Christen Me was runner-up behind Beautide in last year’s edition of the Grand Circuit event. Christen Me is by 1998 Miracle Mile champion Christian Cullen, with no winner of the prestigious sprint producing a subsequent winner. On the opposite end of the scale, fellow Kiwi pacer, Terror To Love, is the rank outsider at $21 after drawing gate 10. The son of Western Terror slots into eight with the removal of the emergencies. Miracle Mile field in barrier order and TAB Fixed Odds: Easy On The Eye  $16 Avonova    $12 Beautide    $1.75 Christen Me    $5 For A Reason    $6.5 Chariot King   (2nd emerg) Guaranteed    $7.5 Suave Stuey Lombo    $12 Bettor Bet Black    (Emerg) Terror To Love    $21 PAUL COURTS

Is the latest controversy surrounding harness racing’s premier sprint – Miracle Mile – about to unfold? Without doubt the most successful race in Australasia relating to media attention, the Miracle Mile has thrived on the ongoing conflicts, troubles and antics associated with the Group One. From questionable selections and omissions to scratchings and court action, the Miracle Mile has seen it all. For example, quite a few fans and ‘experts’ still have ‘hang ups’ about Our Sir Vancelot being overlooked in 1996. Despite winning the Qantas Sprint – conducted these days as the Cordina Sprint - Our Sir Vancelot missed the December edition of the Grand Circuit event won by Iraklis. On the other side of the scale, little-known pacer Manaville won a restricted class race in 1:55.5 for the 1740 metres, shaving a tenth of a second off Norms Daughter’s track record set in the June 1996 Miracle Mile, earning him an invite into the time-honoured feature in the process. A year later Our Sir Vancelot was Miracle Mile champion. Our Sir Vancelot was trained by legendary horseman Brian Hancock, who was coincidently involved in a controversial admission to the premier speed test a few years earlier. Hancock was in charge of reigning Inter Dominion champion Weona Warrior, which hadn’t won from four starts since his upset victory in the 1994 series. On top of that, Weona Warrior was beaten in the Qantas Sprint, while the nation’s premier mare Exceptionally Smooth won the Ladyship Mile on the same night, but missed a start the following week. Another prominent controversy is Jack Morris’ scratching just moments before the scheduled starting time in 1993. A dominant favourite, Jack Morris was withdrawn by on-course vet, David Evans, as the field lined up behind the mobile barrier. Trainer Sean Harney argued with Chief Steward, Roger Nebauer, but to no avail. Harney believed the hype and atmosphere of the event – especially the fireworks display – may have caused bruising of a membrane in Jack Morris’ nose, which resulted in the trace of blood. A few years later, another scratching minutes before the race took place when stewards ordered Christian Cullen out of the 1997 edition. Only the second three-year-old to be invited to the race – Chokin was the first in 1991 – Christian Cullen’s a pre-race swab revealed traces of heptaminol. Trainer Brian O’Meara was cleared a week later when it was announced testing of the reserve urine sample taken from Christian Cullen had found the swab’s accompanying control fluid was contaminated. The Australian Forensic Laboratory at Randwick carried out testing under the authority of Melbourne analyst Craig Carmichael, who was appointed by O’Meara. Furious with the overall situation, O’Meara sued for compensation against the black mark attached to his name. In a claim before the court, owner Ian Dobson and Brian O’Meara sought the $180,000 winning stake from the Miracle Mile, plus $500,000 for not being able to charge higher stud fees for the horse. Dobson later stated a settlement had been reached with lawyers for the laboratory. Christian Cullen returned to win the Miracle Mile in 1998. That brings us to this year’s Miracle Mile, or more specifically, last Saturday night’s Coca-Cola Sprint at Menangle. The 1609-metre dash is one of three races guaranteeing the winner an automatic pass to the Miracle Mile on November 29. But what happens if the winner has already been invited? The short answer is no invitation is issued! Defending Miracle Mile champion Beautide capture last weekend’s Sprint, with boom Victorian pacer Guaranteed finishing second. Despite his effort, and sensational record, Guaranteed was not afforded a ‘golden ticket’ to the Miracle Mile. “Unfortunately we cannot issue an invitation to any horses from tonight’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint,” club chief executive Bruce Christison declared. As such, Guaranteed’s connections have two choices – return to Menangle for this week’s Cordina Sprint and try again or rest on their laurels and hope for an invite. Resting on their laurels didn’t work out well for Franco Ice’s owners in 1991. Despite capturing the Queensland Pacing Championship and finishing third in the Tasmanian Pacing Championship – both Grand Circuit events – Franco Ice was snubbed by Miracle Mile selectors after connections elected to bypass the traditional sprints the previous week. A week after the Miracle Mile, Franco Ice registered his second Grand Circuit victory in the M H Treuer Memoral at Bankstown. That leads to another question…will Guaranteed gain a berth in the famed feature or become the latest Miracle Mile controversy? PAUL COURTS

If you listened to all the harness racing pundits leading into todays $200,000 New Zealand FFA, you would have thought that Christen Me had lost his mojo. Not that you would hear such comments from Cran Dalgety or Dexter Dunn who are the central support crew behind the outstanding gelding.   After missing away badly in Tuesday's New Zealand Cup and then staging a huge recovery to finish fifth, the son of Christian Cullen was set today to show his supporters the magic was still there.   Drawing inside his main rivals at barrier four, Dexter let him find his feet early as Seel In Print and A Bit Of A legend went to war.   Sent forward after 600 metres by Dexter, Christen Me reached the front with a lap to go and was joined first by Franco Nelson and then Adore Me as Dexter kept the throttle to the floor.   Down the back in 27.5, Dexter said go at the quarter pole and put a length on Adore Me as they straightened up for home.   The battle went the length of the straight but at the finish Christen Me was still 3/4 length to the good of Adore Me with Franco Nelson finishing on for third, just in front of Terror To Love who was late clearing a pocket.   Christen Me paced the 1950 metres in a blistering 2:18.4, a mile rate of 1:54.2 with closing sectionals of 54.9 and 27.4.   Dexter was confident a long way from home that Christen Me would be hard to beat.   " After they burned early and I was able to get the front, I knew he would be hard to beat."   "At the quarter Adore Me was still going great but so was I and when I asked him he put a length on her."   "I knew it would be a hard battle in the straight but I knew he was up for it," he said.   Dexter has never lost the faith in his champion despite the critics.   " He has got so much ability and his work at home has been super .   "When we broke at the start on Tuesday we were all disappointed but you can't change that now so you have to put it aside and move on," Dexter said.   Dexter was hopeful the win would bring forth a invitation to the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle in a fortnight.   " He ran second in it last year and I think he is going better this campaign and would be a real chance he said.   Christen Me silenced the doubters today in real style and one can only hope he is on track at Menangle in a fortnight.   Footnote - Christen Me was the fourth horse to receive an  invite to the Miracle Mile 30 minutes after his win today and he is a confirmed starter.     Harnesslink Media

Kentuckiana Lodge NZ Cup contender Christen Me, after getting back on the outer, had to settle for third to the Allstars stablemates, Adore Me and Hands Christian in the $49,396 The Trust Ashburton Flying Stakes, but there was plenty to like about his performance. The reigning Grand Circuit champ, like triple NZ Cup winner and favourite Terror To Love, were left to pick up the crumbs as the Allstars stablemates controlled the front end. Adore Me made one of her best beginnings from the stand start to take up the early running, then eased to trail Hands Christian with 1200m to run. She finished best to score by three-quarters of a length in 2:56 for the stand start 2400m (1:58 mile rate), the leaders running their last 800m in 54.9s and final 400m in 26s. This was a NZ mares record, lowering Jamie’s previous mark of 2:57.2 set in 2006, but outside Terror To Love’s allcomers NZ mark of 2:54.9. Christen Me stormed home wide out for third, being timed over his last mile in 1:53.8, his closing 800m in 54s and his final 400m in a sensational 25.1s. “I knew that last quarter must have been something very fast,” Cran said. “We were going as fast as we can but couldn’t get past the top two. Dex said he (Christen Me) was powerful at the line.” In a remarkable feat, 90-year-old Charlie Roberts bred the trifecta, and co-races both Adore Me and Christen Me. Adore Me is a daughter of Bettor’s Delight and the former NZ mile record-holder Scuse Me (1:53.5), who Mr Roberts purchased at the end of her race career in North America and returned her to NZ for breeding. Both Hands Christian and Christen Me are brothers, being by Christian Cullen from Scuse Me’s Dream Away daughter, Splendid Dreams. At the presentation, Mr Roberts’ son-in-law Paul Kenny, also a co-owner of Adore Me, confirmed the mare had “put her best foot forward”, adding: “the win was totally unexpected, but a total thrill.” Bit Of A Legend, the second Kentuckiana Lodge runner in the Flying Stakes, began nervously from the inside, galloping away and settling back on the inner. He wasn’t able to feature, but still paced 2:57 for the stand start 2400m to finish last of the nine, and only five lengths from the winner. Two of Bit Of A Legend’s Gore co-owners, Pat and Margaret Kubala, had better luck the previous day at Forbury when Lightning Mach justified her short quote when resuming in a maiden pace. Despite starting from the back row, Lightning Mach enjoyed a good run through to improve three wide and was in front at the end of 600m and won untested by 3 1/4 lengths. The Mach Three-Righteous Franco filly, having her first start since May, paced the 2200m on the slushy track in 2:49 without having her earplugs pulled. She is one of four 3YO fillies for her trainer in Friday’s $25,000 Alabar Sires’ Stakes Fillies Series Heat at Addington, having drawn the inside of the second row. She is drawn to follow out one of her stablemates, Delightful Lana (ace), while Margarita (not entirely happy on the rain-affected track when a beaten favourite at Forbury last Sunday) and Bettor Think Twice will start from the outside of the front row. Courtesy Cran Dalgety Racing Stables - Check site here    

Colourful racecaller Mark McNamara described dramatic pacer Cody Singer as a “weirdo” after making hard work of winning his second race in six starts at Addington on Friday, October 24. “He’s a wierdo . . . in the nicest possible way,” was Mr McNamara’s summation after Cody Singer won the C1 Lindauer Lawn Cup Day Limited Tickets Available Mobile Pace. Mr McNamara was elaborating after his discription over the concluding stages when he said Cody Singer “turns on and off like a light switch.” Mr McNamara explained Cody Singer waits for others to come alongside him then goes again. Cody Singer, a massive Christian Cullen gelding with a motor to match his size, chooses to be eccentric. His two Addington wins have been far from conventional. They’ve been achieved in the most difficult fashion but the day ‘Cody’ learns to be an agreeable racehorse his opponents should be in for a severe spanking. He galloped off the unruly from a stand for his maiden win on October 10. He looped the field and looked like he was going to run fourth before hitting the go button and pulling away. His latest win came in similar circumstances. Trainer Cran Dalgety had reservations after Cody Singer drew the ace for the mobile start. The big horse was in trouble 100m after the start, tangling but soon settling at the tail of the field. Driver Dexter Dunn let the favourite roll impressively round the field four and five wide to take control with 1400m to run. However, the $2 favourite looked in danger of being run down with 100m to run, firstly by former stablemate Cracklin Rosie (trail), then Eastburn Mara (three back), along the markers. But after drifting out and balancing up, he had more to give when asked by Dexter, drawing away by three-quarters of a length. Cody Singer paced the mobile 2600m in 3:17.8 (2:02.4 mile rate), running his last 800 in 58.6s and final 400m in 27.9s. Considering his mid-race burn, it was a terrific win. Cody Singer was placed with a second warning over his mobile manners by stewards. His first came after his mobile race debut on September 5. He also became claustrophobic after being crossed drawing the one barrier there, galloping and being pulled up. Cody Singer, despite the drama that surrounds him, will have a big following if he draws anywhere but the inside for the $32,400 Graphite Developments Show Day Futurity Mobile Pace (2600m) on November 14. Kentuckiana Lodge trainer Cran Dalgety notched a winning double at Addington’s Labour Weekend meeting. He opened proceedings when hot $1.50 favourite Delightful Lana showing her class by coming out on top despite racing in the gale-force cool easterly breeze throughout the Cup Day - Only 18 Days To Go Mobile Mile. The promising 3YO Bettor’s Delight-Long Live Lana filly earned herself a 1:55.9 mile mark in the process. She was caught wide in the early rush from the four gate, pressing to the parked position with just over 1200m to run. Delightful Lana held the attentions of Betabcool, who tracked her on the outer, in the run home, holding by half a length, with Abbey Cullen, three back on the outer, finishing on wide for third, a further three-quarters of a length away. The winner breezed over the last 800m in 57.1s and 400m in 27.2s. She racked up her fourth win from eight starts for her Melbourne owners and is unbeaten in both spring 3YO starts. Resuming 3YO filly stablemates, Supriya (fourth) and Bettor Think Twice (fifth), were sound without luck in their respective engagements. Supriya worked hard from the nine gate three wide, surging to the front with 850m to run, then getting swamped over the last 100m. Bettor Think Twice tangled away first-up from the stand start, settling second last, and did well, making ground for fifth. Courtesy Cran Dalgety Racing  - Check site here        

Rising star Smolda remains on target for New Zealand harness racing’s biggest event despite being missing from this weekend’s fixtures. Originally planning to start the son of Courage Under Fire at Addington on Friday night, co-trainer Mark Purdon has elected to keep Smolda fresh ahead of the New Zealand Cup. Purdon based his decision of Smolda’s track work this week, during which the six-year-old “wasn’t that impressive”. “He didn’t work as well as we would like, so Mark made the call not to race him this week,” co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen said. “He went okay, but just wasn’t that impressive. “We’re getting his blood tested to make sure he’s not crook. Given the Cup is so close, it’s not worth pushing on and better to err on the side of caution.” Although Smolda will be missing from his lead-up target, Purdon and Rasmussen will have dual representation in the Christian Cullen Canterbury Classic. The duo have entered Adore Me and comeback pacer Hands Christian, with both returning from spells. Adore Me, which has drawn seven, hasn’t raced since winning the Jewels last May, while Hands Christian has been sidelined for 29 months. Troubled by leg problems, Hands Christian has trialled in solid fashion, with Rasmussen confident of a forward showing from the seven-year-old. “He’s been off the scene for a long time, but we are happy with where is at,” Rasmussen said. Citing Terror To Love and Christen Me as the pair to beat, Rasmussen feels Hands Christian “is ready to surprise a few.” Terror To Love will come from nine, with Christen Me in 10. “Hands Christian’s had three trials and done well in those, plus his work has been good,” Rasmussen said. “Nothing beats race fitness, so whatever he does this week, he will improve on…they both will. “It’s hard to look past Terror To Love and Christen Me, with which one gets the better run the only thing separating them. “You’d expect them to run the quinella.” PAUL COURTS

The four-year-old pacer Dobson (Christian Cullen) scored the biggest win of his young career on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Kevin Verdon owns and trains Dobson who was moving up in class to compete in the featured Winners of 2 but not more than 4 pace on Thursday. Drawing the rail in the $7,490 pace, Dobson moved aggressively to the early lead with driver Jay Randall in the sulky. Dismissed at odds of 10-1, Dobson was up to the task scoring a career best victory in 1:54.3 surviving a photo with the race's favorite Bondi Hanover (Wally Hennessey). The win for Dobson was his fourth in eleven starts this season. Bondi Hanover came up second best while Rock N Joe (Billy Dobson) finished third. Live racing continues on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

The fields for the harness racing meeting at Addington tomorrow night are full of horses in the lower grades who are embarking on new campaigns. One who has caught our eye is the Shadow Play colt Brilliant Strike who resumes from the dreaded barrier nine in race 10 tomorrow night over 1950 metres. A winner at Winton over 2400 metres as a 2 year old, Brilliant Strike has been to the fore at recent trials with a slashing second to Have Faith In Me at the Addington trials ten days ago his most recent effort. Co-trainer Paul Court is expecting a big run from his charge tomorrow night. " I think he will go really well on Friday night but he will definitely improve with the run "He is as good as he can be without having had a race" he said The stable has always had a high opinion of the colt and long term they are looking to test him against the best come Derby time. "The 1950 metres tomorrow is probably a bit short for him but will still go a big race" Paul said when talking to Harnesslink this afternoon. "We are really looking forward to the Derbies later in the season over the longer trips where we think he will really excell as he is such a tough stayer" "He is such a pleasure to do anything with and Ricky really likes him so thats always a good sign" he said From the first crop of a son of The Panderosa in Shadow Play, Brilliant Strike is not the only horse by the sire that the stable has in work. Paul has a lot of time for the Shadow Plays. "We have a filly by him that we qualified as a 2 year old called Beyond Belief who is off to the trials next Tuesday and we think a bit of her. "Dad and I both bred a couple of mares to Shadow Play last year on the back of how much we liked these two and we got some of the stable clients to go to him as well" he said An interesting aside is that both of the Shadow Play's at the Court barn are from mares by Christian Cullen. With only has 19 foals from his first crop, Shadow Play has had a low profile to date but Brilliant Strike looks capable of changing that in the next few months. Harnesslink Media

Overport Lodge trainer Mark Jones is counting down the months for the racetrack return of stable pacing star Saveapatrol next year. Saveapatrol, last seasons’s luckless Auckland Cup placegetter,  underwent a minor surgery for a leg issue after spelling in March. “I’m rapt with Saveapatrol’s recovery. His leg looks great after we  took a precautionary measure to operate,” Mark said. “He’s had sixs weeks swimming already and walks one hour in surf  every day. He’s set to resume jogging next month and he looks great.” Mark says he’ll be in no hurry with the lightly-raced Christian Cullen gelding. “I guess we’ll take our time and have good options after New Year, like the Northern Southland and Invercargill Cups.” Mark says the $A400,000 Hunter Cup at Melton in early February could also be an option if Saveapatrol makes a sharp return to his outstanding form of last season. Saveapatrol won six of 10 four-year-old starts. He was spelled after his Group One Auckland Cup third behind Terror To Love and Adore Me at Auckland on March 7. Saveapatrol was a brilliant winner of a C3 pace at Addington on New  Zealand Cup day in a fast 3:09 (mobile 2600m), just half a second outside the NZ record. He starred on the provincial cups circuit, taking out the Geraldine, Marlborough and Invercargill Cups, the latter a precious Group Three scalp over triple New Zealand Cup winner Terror To Love, in a strong 4:03 (3200m). Saveapatrol, who also racetimed in 1:53.4 (1609m) when fourth from an impossible draw at Addington in February, has only had 16 career starts, for 10 wins, a second and a third, earning $134,868 for owner Grant Hatton. Courtesy Of Mark Jones Racing Stables - Check site here

The harness racing meeting at Cambridge last night (September25th) turned into a benefit night for leading South Auckland trainer/driver Brent Mangos.  Brent reined home four winners on the nine race card and what made it even more memorable for the top reinsman was the fact that he trained the four winners as well. The first of the quartet to put his foot in the winners enclosure was Vibhuti who after doing plenty mid race, run away and hid in the straight  for an easy win and Brent has a bit of time for the son of American Ideal. " He is quite a progressive horse and Cambridge suits him a lot better than Auckland as he has trouble getting around the last bend up there. I think he is getting more tractable with racing and has a bright future" he said when speaking to Harnesslink this morning.  The second winner came in the Te Awamutu Cup where Rockn Ruby made full use of a lovely trail behind the pacemaking Beyond The Silence to grab him in the shadows of the finishing post for her seventh lifetime win and Brent thinks that won't be the last win for the daughter of Mach Three " She is such a lovely mare to do anything with and is so consistent. That win last night took her over the $80,000 mark and I think she has got two or three wins in her yet" he said The third winner was another daughter of Mach Three in Molly O'Shea who in her first run for the season went straight to the front from barrier one and kept up a very steady clip and then scooted away from the 400 meters for an easy victory in a very smart 3:21.6 for the 2700 meters That was her third win from just ten starts and Brent thought there were more wins in store. "She just lacks a touch of high speed to be honest but she can really stay and thats how I drove her last night. I think theres another two or three wins in her as well" he said. The fourth winner was the debut runner Justforyou who is owned in Perth by Karnup Racing Pty Ltd who raced the champion mare Bettor Cover Lover from Brent's stable. A daughter of Christian Cullen, they purchased her out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for the princely sum of $10,000 which must seem like a bargain after last nights win. Justforyou settled three back on the inner early and was only angled off  the inner by Brent as they turned for home from where she absolutely flew to win going away by an ever increasing 2 1/2 lengths in a performance that both surprised and impressed Brent. "She had only had a couple of trials and I didn't think she was ready to do that. She really impressed me last night and she looks to have a big future" he said. Brent Mangos has always been rated one of the best drivers in the industry in New Zealand and last nights quartet of winners was just a timely reminder of how good he is. Harnesslink Media                

Harness racing stud brochures are littered with claims by stallion promoters that their stallion is the best bred or the fastest son of a particular sire and a lot of the time you have to take the claims with a grain of salt. However having looked at the pedigree of  Raging Bull, for once we would have to agree with the promoters claims. There can be little doubt that Raging Bull is the best bred son of Christian Cullen available to breeders in New Zealand. His dam is the imported Artsplace mare in San Sophia who took a mark in North America of 1:52.6 ($91,481)  and was imported into New Zealand by Dennis Thompson of Platinum Breeding. Her stud record looks like this: 2005 - San Rafella 1:52.3 ($86,288)  2006 - Private Joke 1:52.1 ($154,792) 2008 -  Raging Bull 1:56.6 ($115,581) 2009 - Red West - 1:56.6 ($28,463) 2010 - Santa Catalina - 1:55.6 ($40,698) 2011 - Hilltop Delight - 2:04.4 ($10,962) San Sophia is a full sister to the brilliant racemare Galleria 1:49.1 ($1,814,453) who has produced 4 in 1:53 including this season's brilliant 3 year old filly Gallie By The Beach 1:50.3 ($437,390) and Western Gallie 1:51.2 ($334,223) Another full sister to San Sophia is National Gallery 1:53.2 ($35,530) who also has 4 in 1:53 including Smithsonian 1:48.4 ($508,230) and Lorrie Please 1:50.2 ($546,760) The dam of San Sophia is the very smart racemare Emory Girl 1:52.4 ($200,730) It is nothing short of a sensational maternal family that is going great guns as we speak. Sold as a yearling for $85,000 to clients of Cran Dalgety, Raging Bull has the looks and physique to match his pedigree.  Raging Bull bolted in at his only two starts at two and was again successful at his first start at three before tasting defeat for the first time at start number four on Cup Day at Addington when he sat outside Smolda 1:52.1 ($559,331) and ran second but his performance was full of merit as they did go a 1:54.3 mile rate over 1950 meters that day.  Before injury struck him down and brought a stop to his racetrack career, Raging Bull would only race ten times for 5 wins and 5 placings for stakes of $115,581.  Raging Bull's  best mile rate was 1:54.5 over 1950 meters when second to Smolda on Cup Day.  Apart from Smolda, the only other two horses to beat Raging Bull on the track were Christen Me 1:51. ($1,097,875) and Ideal Scott 1:52.8 ($755,414) which speaks volumes for his class. After his career ending injury, one of the original owners Hal David brought the other owners out with a view to giving Raging Bull his chance as a sire. Standing at Dancingonmoonlight Stud last year in his debut season, Raging Bull served 32 mares and that was without any semen transportation. This season Raging Bull has moved to the well respected Barra Equine Ltd setup in North Canterbury run by Jonathan McNeill where he will stand for a fee of $1250+GST and his semen will be available nationwide. With his pedigree, looks, physique and race track performances, Raging Bull has all the attributes to make it as a sire. Harnesslink Media

The first race on the program at Methven today was blessed with three really smart 3 year olds and as expected they dominated the finish. McArdle Star, Highview Freedy and Until Further Notice all had their supporters prior to the race and all went well enough to justify that support. Highview Freddy from the Robert Dunn barn led easily from barrier one with Sam Ottley in the bike while the Jimmy Curtin trained and driven Until Further Notice settled three back on the inner from his second row draw. The Ken Barron trained McArdle Star with stable reinsman Blair Orange in the bike settled third last from his second line draw.. Sent forward three wide with cover by Blair with a lap to run, McArdle Star found the death seat with 900 meters to run and sat there until the 400 meters when he went up to eyeball Highview Freddy as they turned for home. Blair did little more than flick the reins at McArdle Star up the straight as he went on for an impressive debut win by 2 and 1/4 lengths from Highview Freddy who was just as clearly second. Until Further Notice cleared the pocket three back on the inner as they turned for home and ran on well for third but was 2 and 1/2 lengths from Highview Freddy at the finish. McArdle Star paced the 2300 meters on the grass in 3:02.3, a mile rate of 2:07.5 on a track rated as dead. Brought out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for $30,000 by long time stable clients of Ken Barron in Steve Thompson and Grant Dickey, McArdle Star is as the name suggests is a 3 year old by McArdle from the talented Presidential Ball mare Star Of The Ball 1:56.1 ($68,647) The first foal from Star Of The Ball by Christian Cullen was named Two Twenty in reference to the fact he cost $220,000 at the sales. Why he didn't amount to much on the racetrack, the next two colts in Merv 1:53 ($67,763) and Macha 1:55.8 ($115,297) were well above average. The grand dam of Star Of The Ball is none other than the champion broodmare in Black Watch. McArdle Star looks to have inherited all the family ability and should be in for a profitable season judging by todays run. Harnesslink Media      

Exciting Western Australian pacer Elegant Christian gave notice of bigger harness racing wins to come with his success at Gloucester Park tonight. Having his third run back from a spell for trainer Gary Hall, the four-year-old remains unbeaten this campaign as he works towards the local age-based features in November and December. “He has come back well,” Hall declared. “I’m really happy with his progress and still think there is a bit of improvement in him yet. “All going well he will be racing in the Golden Nugget and McInerney in a couple of months.” Driven by Hall’s reinsman-son Clint, Elegant Christian led throughout from barrier two to account for Bettor Off and Sign In. Rating 1:58.1 for the 2130 metres, the son of Christian Cullen covered the last half in 56.1 seconds. “Once he got to the front he was never going to be run down,” Hall said. “It was a nice easy win for him. “He’ll keep getting better as he goes along and should be able to make his way through the grades without too much fuss.” Since crossing the Tasman, Elegant Christian has registered nine wins from 11 starts, including the Western Gateway Pace and Caduceus Classic. PAUL COURTS

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