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Saturday’s Geelong Pacing Cup winner, Chilli Palmer, is coming to New Zealand to contest the two Group One 4-year-old events at Alexandra Park, and then if he can earn enough dollars, the Harness Jewels Final at Cambridge Raceway on May 31. Victorian trainer Dean Braun all but confirmed the New Zealand trip after Chilli Palmer’s 3.8 metre victory over the $1.40 Geelong Cup favourite, Smoken Up. “I’m meeting with the owners on Tuesday night but I can virtually say it’s a done deal. He will contest the Taylor Mile (May 2), the Messenger (May 9), and then hopefully the Jewels Final (May 31),” Braun told Harness Racing New Zealand. He said Chilli Palmer was likely to contest a race at Alexandra Park on Anzac Day - a week before the $100,000 Group One events. “We got tripped up last  time we were here. You need to have a good look at the track before you line a horse up at Alexandra Park. “The first bend is vital. I’ll probably fly the horse in the Saturday before Anzac Day or possibly even the Wednesday so we can trial him on the Saturday. “I don’t want to make the same mistake twice,” he stressed. He was referring to his 2012 New Zealand Messenger champion, Mustang Mach, who went a shocker a week before in the Taylor Mile. “He finished last on the first night and then he and Dexter (Dunn) came out and won the Messenger beating good horses like Gold Ace and Terror To Love. He later ran an unlucky fourth in the Jewels Final at Cambridge,” Braun said. The 37-year-old Lara (near Geelong) horseman said he was delighted with Chilli Palmer’s $30,000 Group Three victory on Saturday, but rated his Group One $125,000 McInerney 4yo Ford Classic victory at Gloucester Park as his best. “What he did that night was unbelievable. He sat back, launched and killed them. I’ve only ever seen one other horse do that on that track. “I’m not saying he’s in the same class as ‘Quinny’ (Themightyquinn), but it was a run I’ll never forget. That’s why I think he will go great on the bigger Alexandra Park track. I’ve trained him that way and it doesn’t seem to be a problem,” Braun said. Like Mustang Mach, Chilli Palmer was bred in New Zealand. Terry and Glenys Chmiel did his early preparation with him. They won two trials at Rangiora and a workout at Motukarara before he was exported to Australia on February 11 last year. Chilli Palmer has now won 10 of his 14 starts and $175,594. He recorded his quickest mile rate of 1:51.5 when winning the Group Three $30,000 Garrards 4yo Bonanza at Tabcorp Park on February 8. He is likely to stay at Tony Herlihy’s stable at Ardmore with Herlihy’s former employee Amanda Grieve. She has been employed by Braun for the last seven weeks and will travel with the 4-year-old Elsu gelding. Chilli Palmer is owned by Braun, Mara Scarpino, K. Farah, A Kheir, J. R. Pezzimenti, S. Parkinson, A Mathews, C Badcock, and A. Badcock. He was bred by Graeme Henley and S. R. Henley. Braun regarded his 2012 NZ Messenger win with Mustang Mach as his career highlight. “It’s hard enough beating the Kiwis on any track but to do it in their own backyard was special. I want to repeat the dose. In fact we are coming to win all three of your Group one races. “I wouldn’t be sending him there if I didn’t think we could achieve that,” Braun said. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Talented Victorian harness racing pacer Outrageous El confirmed his status as a genuine Tasmanian Derby prospect with an effortless win against the older horses in a class one over 2200 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. Driver Rohan Hadley was forced to make his charge work hard to find the lead but once in front the Adam Kelly-trained gelding travelled sweetly and when asked to extend at the top of the home straight he forged clear. Outrageous El went on to score by almost six metres from El Jays Magic with Another Jasper over two metres astern. It was the gelding's third win in success from his four lifetime starts and his second in Tasmania, having been successful in Devonport at his first try on foreign soil. Kelly was hoping the son of Elsu would measure up to Derby class when he travelled him across Bass Strait and so far the three-year-old has lived up to expectations. The Tasmanian Derby will be run over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Peter Staples  

When former champion juvenile Sensational Gabby managed just one win and one third placing from 11 starts between December 2012 and January this year her harness racing future was in extreme doubt. She was wrecking her winning prospects by overracing fiercely and hanging and her connections were seriously considering retirement plans. But astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri did not give up the battle and after months of experimenting he has cured her bad habits of pulling hard and hanging in her races and now she has regained all the brilliance which enabled her to win at 23 of her first 27 starts. She paced generously and faultlessly when she revealed blistering speed to outclass her rivals in the Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night, recording a smart 1.54.8 rate over the 2130m after speeding over the final mile in 1min.53.9sec. Sensational Gabby now has several feature events for mares over the next two months at her mercy. These include the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on April 21, the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on May 9, the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Pace on May 23 and the $30,000 Westbred Fillies and Mares Classic on May 30. And so well is Sensational Gabby performing that there are plans to set her for rich feature events next summer, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Olivieri is well pleased that Sensational Gabby is now tractable in her races, but he remains tight-lipped about what gear changes he has made to cure her bad habits. Sensational Gabby was an easing 13/4 second favourite on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith on Soho Valencia, who was a heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. However, the anticipated battle for supremacy never really eventuated, with Chris Lewis firing out Sensational Gabby from the No. 1 barrier and establishing a decisive early lead on the opposition, leaving Soho Valencia in the breeze, but a couple of lengths behind the flying pacemaker. After a 29.3sec. first 400m section of the final mile Sensational Gabby left the opposition floundering in her wake as she sped of the next quarters in 28.5sec., 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Sensational Gabby won by two lengths from Soho Valencia, with almost a length to Code Red (9/1) in third place after he had trailed the leader throughout. The five-year-old WA-bred Sensational Gabby has now amassed $527,495 from 27 wins and six placings from 48 starts. Sensational Gabby's win gave Lewis the third leg of a winning treble in consecutive events --- after wins with Shirlz Sensation and Lovers Delight. Lewis almost landed four wins in a row (in the four legs of the quadrella) when Pembrook Henry set the pace and finished second to Erris Lad. MACHTU EQUALS STATE RECORD Crack New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu is now a clear favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby on Friday week after his devastating performance to crush his rivals in the Cowden Ltd Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu, prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., is spot on for the rich classic and he equalled the State record for three-year-olds over 2536m when he rated 1.57.2 in beating Three Blind Mice by almost seven lengths. Robyns C C also rated 1.57.2 when she finished strongly to win a race for fillies last August. What made Machtu's performance all the more impressive was that he worked hard without cover for much of the way before storming away from his rivals in the final stages with a final 400m in 28.2sec. After unplaced runs at his first two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old in December 2012, Machtu has won at seven of his next eight starts. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a fighting second to stablemate Elegant Christian. Machtu, favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 200m before Clint Hall restrained him back to settle in ninth position. Hall started a three-wide run after 900m and Machtu quickly moved alongside the pacemaker So Ubettabelieveit. Machtu surged to the front 270m from home and careered away from his rivals. Three Blind Mice, trained by Barry Howlett, was a 19/1 chance who raced without cover during the first lap and then gained the one-out, one-back trail behind Classic American before being shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He finished powerfully, out wide, to be a splendid second. Life Live Fast (66/1) enjoyed an ideal pegs run throughout and fought on along the inside to be third, with Zacharia finishing solidly into fourth place. Machtu, who has earned $51,038 from seven wins and a second from ten starts, is the fourth foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Letatalk, who managed to win only once from 20 New Zealand starts for stakes of just $3938. SHIRLZ SENSATION IS ON THE RISE Four-year-old Shirlz Sensation looks set for a bright career after another outstanding performance to score an effortless victory in the Community Newspaper Group Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at evens from barrier two on the back line, Shirlz Sensational was driven aggressively by Chris Lewis before scoring by three lengths from Smooth Caesar (6/1), with the strongly-supported 9/4 second fancy Soho Jackman one and a half lengths farther back in third place. Oneheart Twofists jumped straight to the front from barrier three and he was joined by Shirlz sensation 700m after the start after a slow 37.9sec. lead time and 30.9sec. opening quarter of the final mile. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.1sec. before Lewis sent Shirlz Sensation to the front with 230m to travel. The final quarter was covered in a sparkling 27.8sec. and Shirlz Sensation rated a smart 1.57 over the 2130m. Soho Jackman started from the outside of the back line and did a good job to finish third. He was last 1050m from home before sustaining a solid three-wide burst. Shirlz Sensation, part-owned and trained by Mike Beech, has turned the corner this season, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a third. He was also extremely impressive last Friday week when he raced without cover before winning by more than ten lengths. He now has raced 22 times for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $58,720. LOVERS DELIGHT IS GETTING TOUGHER Lightly-raced six-year-old Lovers Delight, a noted frontrunner, revealed improved stamina and determination when he raced in the breeze before beating the pacemaker Lord Lombo in the $25,000 Pick Of The Little Scrapbooking Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by Chris Lewis, Lovers Delight, the heavily-supported 3/1 favourite, simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals. Lord Lombo, a 9/1 chance, was first into stride from barrier two and Lewis then was quite content to allow Lovers Delight to settle in the breeze. After a third section of the final mile in 28.1sec. Lord Lombo looked set to score an upset win. But he was unable to withstand the finishing effort of Lovers Delight who got to the front in the final 25m and scored by 2m at a 1.57.6 rate over 2130m. Outsider Franco Torres overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of polemarker Benjamin Banneker. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has raced 22 times in WA for eight wins and eight placings to take his career record to32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $170,203. He now graduates to an M3 classification and looks set for many more successes. BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR MISSISSIPPI BELL Four-year-old Mississippi Bell, unplaced at her only seven previous appearances at Gloucester Park, made a significant breakthrough when her Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Ross North Group Mares Pace on Friday night. Mississippi Bell, a 12/1 chance from the inside of the back line, relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Awesome Desire (13/4) before Mellsop eased her into the clear in the closing stages. She ran on determinedly to hit the front 80m from the post and draw away to beat Awesome Desire by almost a length, with 20/1 chance Mene Jaccka coming from three back on the pegs to fill third position. Love In The Dark, a newcomer from Queensland, was strongly supported to start favourite at 10/9 on at her WA debut for Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. She was beaten for early speed from the No. 3 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before fading to finish eighth. Mississippi Bell rated 2.0.3 and took her record to 28 starts for six wins and one placings for stakes of $33,032. She is by American stallion Riverboat King out of Northern Lights mare Firestorm Whitby and is certainly bred to be a good winner. Firestorm Whitby's dam Tempting Franco produced five winners, including Typhoon Whitby, who had 46 starts for 17 wins, seven placings and $163,751. Typhoon Whitby finished second to The Kindly One in the $100,000 1999 Bathurst Gold Tiara, won the $60,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in August 1999 and was fourth behind Tupelo Rose in the 2000 Victoria oaks. Mississippi bell also is closely related to former outstanding pacer Franco Tiger, who amassed $991,387 from 43 wins and 36 placings from 116 starts. Franco Tiger's victories included the 1992 Miracle Mile, the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship, the 1992 Queensland Pacing Championship and the 1993 Treuer Memorial. He also finished second to Westburn Grant in the 1992 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley and third behind The Harlem Boy and Jack Morris in the 1993 WA Pacing Cup. SPRINT TRIP SUITS CARTERS ROCKET Carters Rocket, a flop when he led and faded to third behind Wolowitz over 2190m at Northam last Tuesday, appreciated returning to a sprint journey when he scored an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His one-length win over Ima Grumpy Jasper at a 1.57.78 rate ended a losing sequence of 12, which included only two placed efforts. Polemarker Im Clean Cut, a surprising 5/4 on favourite after finishing ninth, twelfth and eleventh at his three previous starts, was beaten out at the start by Carters Rocket (second fancy at 17/4) from the No. 2 barrier. This proved decisive. Colin Brown gave Carters Rocket his head and the New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Elsu sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. before Brown was able to give the gelding a breather with a leisurely second quarter in only 31.9sec. Carters Rocket covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.2sec. and won from Ima Grumpy Jasper, a 12/1 chance who ran on from eighth in the middle stages. Im Clean Cut trailed the pacemaker before getting a clear passage in the final stages to finish gamely into third place. Carters Rocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won twice from seven New Zealand starts and has been a handy performer in Western Australia where his 38 starts have produced eight wins and seven placings. He now has a record of 46 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $57,931. Carters Rocket is out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose full-sister Tupelo Rose was a champion performer who earned $879,867 from 35 wins and 25 placings from 101 starts. Hollywood Rose, a mare by Butler B G, failed to win from 20 starts in the early 1990s. However, Tupelo Rose quickly developed into a superstar who won several group 1 and group 2 events as a juvenile. She won two group 1 classics for fillies as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in 1999 before winning the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, the Victoria Oaks, the Queensland Oaks and Australian Oaks the following year. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in America. AM OPULENT Four-year-old Am Opulent, a group 1 classic winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand, took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Gannons Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 7/4 on, Am Opulent was driven with supreme confidence by Ryan Warwick, who gave the mare her head when she dashed over the final 800m in 57.5sec. She won by a neck at a 1.57.3 rate from 15/1 chance Bettor Whitby, who trailed her throughout. Jungle Genie (13/2), a stablemate of the winner, sustained a three-wide burst from last in the middle stages to be a neck away in third place. Am Opulent, who ended a losing sequence of ten with an easy victory at Harvey at her previous outing, gives every indication of many more wins. She has earned $162,757 from ten wins and eight placings from 31 starts. A winner of three races from seven starts in New Zealand, Am Opulent has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. She revealed abundant early promise and was successful in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April 2012. Her dam Imprint (by Life Sign) earned only $22,622 from three wins and three placings from 14 starts, but she is closely related to Smart Son, who earned $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. He was successful in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Am Opulent completed a double in the first two events on Friday night's program for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Carters Rocket for his win in the opening event. The Bonds continued on their winning ways with a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon when Showstopper and Jungle Jewel scored all-the-way victories. DASHING CHRISTIAN ENDS LOSING RUN OF 14 New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dashing Christian ended a losing sequence of 14 when he unleashed a powerful burst which enabled him to get up in the final stride to snatch victory by a nose over 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the 2536m Plscrapbooking.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dashing Christian, third favourite at 5/1, started from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall had him in fifth position, three back on the pegs, for most of the race, with Shifting Sand (14/1) setting the pace. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in tenth place before Morgan Woodley sent him forward after 550m to move into the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in a brisk 28.2sec., Mighty Flying Thomas got his head in front with 375m to travel and looked set for victory when he led clearly in the home straight. But Dashing Christian sprouted wings and gained the verdict by the barest of margins after a final quarter in 28.9sec. The Feather Foot (9/2) ran on strongly from sixth at the bell to be third. Dashing Christian, who had finished encouraging seconds at his two previous starts, gave trainer Gary Hall sen. and Clint Hall a double after they had combined to win the previous event with Machtu. Dashing Christian, a winner at one of his seven New Zealand starts, raced seven times in New South Wales for seven wins and six placings. He has had 23 starts in WA for three wins and nine placings to take his career earnings to $105,955 from 11 wins and 19 placings. He is then second foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Dreamy Dash, who managed just one win and seven placings from 33 starts for earnings of $17,165. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF DROP-DOWN RULE The drop-down rule introduced a couple of years ago which enables pacers assessed M2 and better to drop down a grade has proved a tremendous boon for WA-bred Erris Lad, who has returned to winning form three times after receiving this advantage. Horses handicapped M2 or better drop down a grade after completing a losing sequence of ten. Erris Lad, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, dropped back from an M2 to an M1 classification after chalking up a losing run of ten when a sound fourth behind Major Fury last Friday week. This enabled the seven-year-old to start from the front line in Friday night's 2503m TABtouch Handicap, an event for M1 and better-class pacers. Colin Brown took advantage of the front-line draw and had Erris Lad, a 20/1 outsider, poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position, with 3/1 chance Pembrook Henry setting the pace. Erris Lad finished full of running to take the lead 100m from the post. He went on to beat Pembrook Henry by a half-length, with a neck back to 16/1 chance Hez Got the Nod, who finished strongly out five wide after racing three back on the pegs. Flyalong Falcon, favourite at 5/2, lost his chance by galloping at the start. Mister Sarkozy also galloped and The Pacing Priest broke soon after the start. Flyalong Falcon came from tenth in the middle stages to be fifth before breaking on the home turn and dropping back to finish last. Erris Lad has been the beneficiary of the drop-down rule three times. His previous victory was last November when having his first start after a losing run of ten. His previous win before that success came after he had also enjoyed a downgrade. Under the old handicapping regulations Erris Lad would now have an M5 classification. His win on Friday night returns him to an M2 mark. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR LA PASSIONE A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for New Zealand-bred five-year-old La Passione's impressive victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi revved up La Passione from the unfavourable No. 7 barrier and the gelding quickly charged past polemarker Good Luck Dollar and into the lead. Cortopassi was able to get La Passione to relax and the 4/1 second favourite coasted through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. before dashing over the next two quarters in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. to win by two lengths from Black Cracker, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Good Luck Dollar trailed the leader and finished a neck away in third place. La Passione, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is beginning to realise his potential after arriving in Western Australia about 14 months ago after having had 18 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings. His 21 WA starts have produced four wins and six placings and he should develop into a handy and consistent city performer. Ken Casellas  

Outstanding Kiwi bred Elsu / Make It Hot four year old harness racing gelding Chilli Palmer was a brilliant victor of the $30,505 Corio Waste Management Geelong Cup for M0 or better class over 2570 metres at Beckley Park on Saturday.   A small but select field contested the event – the biggest in Geelong each season, with multi millionaire and crowd favourite Smoken Up (gate three) and Chilli Palmer (gate five) appearing to be the main chances and that’s the way the race panned out.   Our Blackbird from the pole was the best to begin, with Lance Justice and Smoken Up ambling to the front shortly after the start, multiple cups winner Arber three back the markers being followed by Magical Telf, Chilli Palmer, Smudge Bromac and Savesomtimetodream all in indian file behind him.   Magical Telf was taken away from the markers by Alex Ashwood within a lap to race in the open, with Chris Alford immediately following to possie Chilli Palmer one/one and Smudge Bromac also following to be three back in the moving line.   In quarters of 30.5 and 30.9 for the first half of the last mile, Smoken Up was expected to break the clock for the last half after such an easy time as Lance Justice started to up the tempo.   Easing three wide approaching the final bend, Chilli Palmer sprinted like a gazelle in the straight to overtake Smoken Up and register a 3.8 metre untouched margin over Smoken Up who wouldn’t shirk the issue being the champion that he is, with Our Blackbird holding his ground to finish .7 metres away in third place.   In a last half of 56 seconds (28.5 & 27.5), Chilli Palmer returned a mile rate of 1-59.7 for the journey which was nothing special when you take in the quality of the field.   Trained at Lara by Dean Braun who continues to provide winner after winner with ex-Kiwi talent, Chilli Palmer has recorded 10 wins from only 14 race appearances and without doubt is one of harness racing’s future stars.    Kyneton trainer Joe Attard has Yankee Paco / Kellybrooke five year old gelding El Paco absolutely flying at present, chalking up his 11th victory (4 this season) by taking out the prestigious $10,505 James & Son McNamara Memorial Trotters Cup for T5 or better class over 2570 metres on the Geelong program. . Driven by brother Julian as Joe had family commitments in Adelaide, El Paco flew away from the 10 metre mark to lead and rated to perfection, just held on to score by a half head in a thrilling finish over Duke Of The Moment (three wide home turn) from a 20 metre handicap, with the well backed pole marker Quite A Moment coming from last at the bell to finish third after throwing away her chances by galloping shortly after the start. The mile rate 2-06.5.   Bred by Greg Clark who races the horse in partnership with Joe, El Paco is an owners dream, always finishing close up in his races. Len Baker Harness Racing Victoria    

Just a day after it was announced that Great Southern Star winner Keystone Del will tackle the upcoming Triple Crown at Alexandra Park, news has come through that gun Victorian four-year-old Chilli Palmer is also likely to be at the meeting. The Group One winning four-year-old, who was educated here in New Zealand by Terry and Glenys Chmiel, is likely to compete in both the New Zealand Messenger and the Taylor Mile according to his trainer Dean Braun, who is no stranger to campaigning horses in the north. Braun, who has risen to stardom in the training ranks in recent years, enjoyed success with another former Kiwi in Mustang Mach in the 2012 NZ Messenger, meaning that the Victorian trainer knows exactly what to expect if and when his star Elsu gelding touches down in Auckland. This information is sure to thrill Auckland Trotting Club officials, who have already confirmed that the Brent Lilley trained Zedalite will be in Auckland during April.   Meanwhile, top driver Dexter Dunn, who has now driven seven consecutive centuries, reined home his 100th winner for the season when victorious aboard Marchesa at Wingatui today. By Mitchell Robertson  

 The 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd at 11am on Sunday at the Bathurst Showground. The sale comprises 186 lots by 50 different sires including Australia’s champion sire Art Major, leading juvenile sire Courage Under Fire, former USA Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and premier North American sire Rocknroll Hanover, along with leading first-crop stallions Sportswriter, Shadow Play, Always A Virgin, Changeover and Million Dollar Cam. Other well known stallions include American Ideal, Grinfromeartoear, McArdle, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Artistic Fella, Modern Art, Village Jasper, Tinted Cloud and Aces N Sevens. The catalogue includes yearlings out of Group winners including the Edgar Tatlow winners Katasopos and Lady Titian Lombo, the WA Oaks winner Onassis Legacy and Modern Day (QSBA Breeders Classic). Other Group heat or metropolitan winners include Jillette, Unspoiled, Ezy Lady, Ambre Solaire, Lite Energy, Nietta Lombo, Spirit Of Tara, Madusa Cam, Lombo Silhouette, Lockton Loaded, Love Nest, Touch Of Jerry and Dana Bromac. The majority of the yearlings are eligible for the $1.17-million NSW Breeders Challenge Race series for two, three and four-year-olds of both sexes. They are also eligible for rich futurity series such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred and QBred. The online catalogue for the Bathurst sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on (02) 6884 8355 or email gboard@dcco.com.au or the Bathurst Harness Racing Club on (02) 6333 5000. by Peter Wharton for Bathurst Gold Crown Sale

Interstate trainer Adam Kelly began the Hobart where he left off at Devonport last Sunday night - with a winner. Outrageous El strolled around the Hobart circuit to casually emerge triumphant in a race for 3C0-3C1 and C0 performers over 2090 metres. He defeated race leader Ive Got Oomph by 1-1/4 metres with Ektoras a game third almost a metre astern after facing the breeze throughout. Kelly's Elsu three-year-old gelding settled last of the field of 12 from his outside second-row gate and when driver Gavin Lang eased his charge three-wide to make his move he gradually crept into the race. Ive Got Oomph was being tapped up at the bell and it looked as if they would stroll past the Paul Williams-trained five-year-old but he found plenty when his trainer called on him for the supreme effort. But the Victorian three-year-old's class shone through and he wasn't fully extended to win the race. He did the same at Devonport last week so he has an unbeaten record in Tasmania. Ektoras battled on gamely to grab third with the first three placegetters well in advance of the rest of the opposition. Kelly travelled to Tasmania for a two-week campaign with a small team of five and all have been very competitive. By Peter Staples

In what is a carbon copy of Star Of Isis last season, the Jim Curtin trained Maximan bought up his fifth straight victory when thrashing his rivals in today’s $15,000 Manawatu Cup. Like the Curtin trained Star Of Isis did last year, Maximan headed to the feature Manawatu meeting with three straight victorious to his name, before taking out both the Palmerstonian Classic and the Manawatu Cup. But the similarities don’t stop there either as both runners paid odds of $1.60 for the win. And they say history doesn’t repeat itself? Maximan was one of two winners on the card for Jim Curtin who also steered Elsu Attack to success. Nicky Chilcott, Peter Ferguson, and Andre Potuma, who was wearing the New Zealand colours that he carried to victory in the Australasian Young Drivers Series, also drove two winners apiece. In others news, a meeting will be held tomorrow to decide the fate of the Akaroa Trotting Club meeting that was abandoned today due to weather conditions. By Mitchell Robertson

Talented pacer Christen Me is set to take the title of 2013/14 Australasian Pacing Grand Circuit Champion after Friday night’s Group 1 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup, even though he is not competing in it. Christen Me is on 260 points, 40 points above Miracle Mile/Inter-Dominion Champion Beautide. There is no-one competing in Friday night’s event that would overtake him with a win. Terror To Love is 5th on the table, however he is only on 106 points. The circuit consists of eight races, the Queensland Pacing Championship in October, the New Zealand Cup and Miracle Mile both in November, the Victoria Cup in December, the WA Pacing Cup in January, the Hunter Cup in February and the Inter-Dominion Grand Final and Auckland Cup both in March. Christen Me has gained points from his third in the NZ Cup, second in the Miracle Mile, third in the Victoria Cup and his win in the Hunter Cup. A few past New Zealand winners of this prestigious title have been Christian Cullen, Monkey King, Flashing Red, Elsu, Young Rufus and Holmes D G. The points breakdown for each Grand Circuit event is as follows: 1st = 100 points, 2nd = 60 points, 3rd = 40 points, 4th = 20 points, 5th = 10 points, 6th = 5 points, 7th = 4 points, 8th = 3 points, 9th = 2 points, 10th and lower = 1 point. For the full leader board please go to Harness Racing Australia's website: http://www.harness.org.au/grandcirc/agc_2013ppnt.htm Harness Racing New Zealand                     Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.           DISCLAIMER: If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately by reply email, facsimile or collect telephone call to +64 3 9641200 and destroy the original. Please refer to full DISCLAIMER at http://www.hrnz.co.nz/eDisclaimer  

The flagships of the Division are the Australasian Classic and New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales held in Auckland Monday 17th February and Christchurch Tuesday and Wednesday 18th and 19th of February. Billed as the “Sale of the Stars” their graduates include seven modern day New Zealand Cup winners, thirty two Harness Jewels winners and thirty one Australasian Breeders Crown winners. Unity under the PGG Wrightson organisation has been a major benefit to the sales. Especially in producing a top quality catalogue, funding a very successful inward buyer scheme and the $1 million Sales Race Series now in its 24th year. Harnesslink is running a short series on some of the yearlings on offer. Lot 31 Premier sale - FREEDOM FIGHTER SIRE - Courage Under Fire was the best juvenile pacer to ever race in Australasia, winning his first 24 starts. He won six Derbies at three, a record that is unlikely to be matched let alone beaten. At stud he has done an outstanding job leaving such brilliant horses as Pembrook Benny ($839,232), Sleepy Tripp ($736,985), Lanercost ($506,102), Choise Achiever ($504,983) and Smolda ($461,307) to name just a few. They have that rare ability to excel at two and three yet go on to succeed as older horses on the Grand Circuit. DAM - Rafiki (2:00.8) is a race winning daughter of New York Motoring  who has lived up to her pedigree in the broodmare barn. She is already the dam of six winners including the very smart filly, Amboseli 1:58.7 ($71,645) and her full brother in Huey Hewitt ($71,000) as well as the recent Addington winner in Mashika 1:56.1. A race winning daughter in Tamarind has already left the talented mate Tamanisha (1;54.1) and Here's Shifty (4 NZ Wins). The grand-dam is the brilliant two year old of her year in Kisumu (1:57.4pl) who won the New Zealand Sires Stakes for fillies at two. At stud she has produced six winners including the standout filly of her year in Turkana (1:57.1) who won the Nevele R Fillies Final as well as the New Zealand and Queensland Oaks. The third dam Kinshasha left six winners and is a full sister to the champion broodmare, Sakuntala. OVERVIEW - A smart looking type from a top producing mare, this colt is from the the top juvenile producing family in the New Zealand stud book. Made famous by the full sister to Kinshasha in Sakuntala, it continues to produce juveniles capable of winning the age group classics. This colt has all the attributes to follow in the foot steps of his illustrious relatives. Catalogue pedigree. Lot 80 Premier sale - THE ACTOR SIRE - Mach Three is one of the elite sires where ever he stands and continues to leave quality racehorses world wide. Getting close to $100,000,000 in earnings world wide, his stock can get up and run at two and still be flying at five on the Grand Circuit. His standout colts in New Zealand include the champion Auckland Reactor ($1,837,043), Magical Mach ($1,238,943), Mah Sish ($747,331) and Sir Lincoln ($650,229) to name just a few. With a percentage of winners to foals of close to 60%, he ticks every box as a sire. DAM - The Actress (1:59.1) is a race winning daughter of Elsu from the top producing Soky's Atom broodmare Stage Talent who has left five winners from six foals to date, all in better than 2:00. Those winners include the very smart 3/4 sister to The Actor in Collectable (p2 1:58,2) who won three times at two on her way to winning $111,038, About Ambition (1:55.8) $88,478 and Slippery Mackenzie (1:57.3) $95,805. The third dam Stage Queen has left six winners including Dash For Cash (1:54) and her daughters have left such speedy types as Lucky Voodoo (1:54.4) and Estlers Light (1:54.3). She is a full sister to the brilliant Defoe (1:53)  $423,272 and a half sister to the dam of Silver Lined Pocket (1:50.2)  $307,838. OVERVIEW - This Mach Three colt is a 3/4 brother to top two year old filly in Collectable from a race winning Elsu daughter of the top broodmare Stage Talent. Direct Scooter line stallions have always crossed well with this family with Silver Lined Pocket and the the brilliant filly Secret Potion ($285,000) just two by that sire line to excel that are close up in this colt's pedigree. Catalogue pedigree. LOT 197 Premier sale - Handsome Hero SIRE - Courage Under Fire was the best juvenile pacer to ever race in Australasia, winning his first 24 starts. He won six Derbies at three, a record that is unlikely to be matched let alone beaten. At stud he has done an outstanding job leaving such brilliant horses as Pembrook Benny ($839,232), Sleepy Tripp ($736,985), Lanercost ($506,102), Choise Achiever ($504,983) and Smolda ($461,307) to name just a few. They have that rare ability to excel at two and three yet go on to succeed as older horses on the Grand Circuit. DAM - this is the third foal of Famous Lover who is a 1:56.1 daughter of boom broodmare sire, Dream Away. She won $30,743 in a brief career and is a half sister to four winners including the smart Flashbang (1:55). The first foal of Famous Lover is the speedy Santanna Blue Chip filly in Call Me Yours who ran second at her one New Zealand start before being exported to Australia. The grand-dam Susan Who ($33,075, 1:59.7f) has left four winners to date with two in 2:00. The third dam Socialite left three winners and her daughters and grand-daughters have left such smart types as At Your Service ($210,261), Greek to Me ($138,467) and Lionsixchristiansnil ($63,686). Socialite was a half to three outstanding pacers in Sassenach (12 wins) Stampede (11 wins) and Ryal (9 wins) who were all grand circuit level pacers. OVERVIEW - A lovely colt from a 1:56.1 mare whose first foal Call Me Yours has looked smart in her brief career to date. This is the branch of the Edith family that produced three cup class pacers in Sassenach, Stampede and Ryal and this colt would seem well placed to add to the legacy of this family. Catalogue pedigree. JC  

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major and Bettors Delight so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Christian Cullen Enjoy the read. BREEDING - By the son of Direct Scooter in "In The Pocket". As a stallion In The Pocket has been nothing short of sensational in New Zealand and is responsible for changing the breed in Australia and New Zealand. – becoming NZ’s Champion Sire in both 1998/99 and 2003/04 as well as being the Leading 2YO Sire five times and twice 3YO Sire of the Year. He is the sire of 3 NZ based millionaires and multiple Harness Horses of the Year. His best performers to date include: Changeover p, 1:54.3 $2,426,765 29 wins – G1 NZ Cup, G1 Len Smith Mile,G1 Taylor Mile, G1 NZ Derby, G1 Northern Derby, G1 3YO ABC Final etc…NZ 3YO Colt Pacer of the Year, NZ 5YO & Older Pacer of the Year. Now at stud, Courage Under Fire p, 1:54.2 $1,485,629 41 wins. UNBEATEN in his FIRST 24 starts. Winner of a World Record 6 Derbies. G1 2YO Sires’ Stks Final, G1 3YO Sires’ Stks Final, G1 NZ Derby, G1 GN Derby, G1 AUS Derby, G1 VIC Derby,G1 QLD Derby, G1 NSW Derby, G1 AUS Pacing championship, G1 QLD Pacing Chsp, G1 SA Cup. NZ 2YO Pacer of the Year, NZ & AUS 3YO Pacer of the Year, NZ 4YO Pacer of the Year. Now successful sire.  And of course Christian Cullen who we will detail more below. Christian Cullen is from a very wayward daughter of Bo Scot Blue Chip in Pleasant Franco. What is really notable about the dams pedigree is that it is so dual gaited with the grand dam of Christian Cullen, a half sister to the great Australian trotter in True Roman  (46 wins) RACE RECORD - Plagued by issues most of his racing career, Christian Cullen was a star from the time he stepped on the track. He was such a great looking colt and with ability to match his looks he quickly became a crowd favorite. While he won four from five at two and five from ten at three, it is his four year old career that he is most remembered for. Twelve from twelve says it all with the two highlights being his outstanding win in the NZ Cup and his demolition of a star studded field by 20 meters in the Miracle Mile. All up he faced the starter just 31 times for 22 Wins and 4 placings for $1,249,150 in stakes. AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Stood one season in North America but as was predicted when it was announced he was very poorly patronized with that single crop numbering just 26 live foals which were three year olds in the season just finished. Of that 26 foals 17 have been winners with the best of them being the smart pair Handsoffmycupcake 1:52.1f ($369,325) and Good Day Mate 1:49.3f ($321,483)  and has an average earnings per starter of $55,000.  He also has sixty-five horses who have raced in North America but were bred in NZ. Of those, 63 have won including the top mare Royal Cee Cee 1:49.3f  ($996,432), King Kat Anvil 1:52.4h ($918,191), Mighty Cullen 1:50.2 ($574,945), Classic Cullen 1:50.4 ($451,660), All Tiger 1:49.1s ($401,238), Lightning Raider 1:52.4 ($403,559) to name just a few.  Eligible to race - 91 Winners - 80 Sub 1:50 - 5 Average earnings per starter - $187,328 Total earnings to date - $16,297,512 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD.- Has a great record in Australia especially with his fillies. Off the ten highest stake earners bred by Christian Cullen in Australia, seven are fillies. He has produced fillies of the class of Make Mine Cullen 1:53 ($874,178), Keppel Bay 1:58.3 ($416,151), Staccato 1:58.2 ($393,216), Nowuseeme 1:57.2 ($287,234), The Archduchess 1:55.2 ($281,319) and Triliner 1:56.2 ($280,196) while his colts are headed by the likes of Catchmecullen 1:51 ($349,552), Secretagent Cullen 1:51.4 ($334,961) and Jukebox Music 1:53.6 ($261,321). Of his twenty six $100,000 winners in Australia, fifteen are fillies or mares. Foals 3yr old and older - 324 Winners - 158 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 48% $100,000 plus - 26 $1,000,000 plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $48,245 Average earnings per eligible horse - $31,269 Total earnings to date - $10,131,440 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD. - Hard to do justice to it really. Like his father In The Pocket he has helped to changed the breed in NZ. Even though he stood at a fee of $25,000 for some of his career he has still covered large books in NZ due to the sustained success his stock have enjoyed on the track. He has produced so many champion fillies and colts that he truly is a world class sire. His oldest crop are 13yr olds and he had just 46 foals born that year for 25 winners including the following; Born Again Christian 1:51.2 ($133,130), Likmesiah ($427,965), Roman Gladiator ($318,022), V For ($208,777), Chris Riley ($306,732) Conte De Christo ($246,703) Dudinka's Star ($106,580) and C C Mee ($101,949). His 12 yr old crop produced 103 foals for 58 winners including the outstanding group headed by Mainland Banner ($684,579), King Cat Anvil ($918,191), Molly Darling ($575,150), Mighty Cullen ($574,945), Classic Cullen ($451,660), Whambam ($407,299), Kamwood Cully ($159,838), Dudinka's Cullen ($316,386), Chesterton ($136,376) River Waltz ($303,837), Supreme Edition ($386,829), Spiritual King ($204,624), Conte Cenovalli ($204,486) and Cullens Reign ($170,806). There is that many good horses that from here on I only want to mention the names. His 11yr old crop left 34 winners from 59 foals born and still left the very fast Pay Me A Christian ($354,770), Cruzee Lass ($99,544), Cyclone Cully ($399,635), The Midnight Owl ($283,630) and Wilson Jay ($147,267). His 10yr old crop of 136 foals produced 72 winners headed by Gotta Go Cullen ($1,173,343), Fergiemack ($230,653), Spicey ($162,014), Charles Bronson ($127,255), Cullens Blue Jean ($289,056), Chausettes Blanche ($329,250), Jimmy Cowan ($210,631), Aloha Christian ($212,358), CC's Lover ($241,306) and Christian Skipper ($189,176). His 9yr old crop  produced 241 foals for 138 winners headed by Kiwi Ingenuity ($491,821), Lizzie Maguire ($421,479), Ohoka Arizona ($273,498), Absolute Magic ($178,981), Benny Mac ($196,936), All Tiger ($401,238), Tact Lizzie ($128,988), Rakarebel ($309,876) and Roman Conqueror ($355,078). His 8yr old crop total was 204 foals with 109 winners headed by Stunin Cullen ($1,015,257), Lauraella ($649,946), Lightning Raider ($403,559), Rona Lorraine ($133,268), Cullens Crown ($320,215), Carolines Cullen ($333,518) and Mercurio ($223,603). His 7yr old crop produced 145 foals for 86 winners headed by Franco Emirate ($326,830), Royal Cee Cee ($996,432), Meridith Maguire ($226,167), Gotta Go Harmony ($205,909), Harrison Maguire ($103,634) and Supremacy ($107,910). His 6yr old crop of 154 foals has left 90 winners including Easy On The Eye ($315,650), Statesman ($306,632), Hands Christian ($263,930), The Muskeg Express ($111,331), Ohoka Texas ($174,342), Mr Hasani ($270,063), Jarcullembra ($207,410) and Empyrean ($121,302) Miss Moonlite ($184,000) and Rupeeno Cullen ($123,415). His 5yr old crop of 154 foals has produced 73 winners including the brilliant Christen Me ($767,324), Western Cullen ($441,159), O'Baby ($333,026), Chancellor Cullen ($363,752), Field Officer ($183,017) and Raging Bull ($115,581). The 4yr old group has 142 foals for 60 winners and already include Alta Christiano ($241,614), Classiesistar ($197,094), Delightful Christian ($327,321), Franco Nelson ($232,880) and his 3yr old crop of 124 foals he has left the promising Locharburn ($107,908), Libertybelle Midfrew ($100,656) and Allblack Stride ($146,466) to date. Several of his sons are being given an opportunity at stud including Stunin Cullen, Gotta Go Cullen and Gotta Go Collect.  Foals 3yr old and older - 1,431 Winners - 758 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 52% $100,000 plus - 64 $1,000,000 plus - 2 Average earnings per starter - $29,515 Average earnings per eligible horse - $20,625 Total earnings to date - $29,515,298 His broodmares are already firing with his mares already having left the winners of over the  $3,000,000 mark with Highview Tommy and Ohoka Punter their two best performers to date. POSITIVES - He has that ability to leave that exceptional individual year in and year out.Colt or Filly that can dominate as two and three year olds and still go on to race on the Grand Circuit as older horses. Has not only shown that he can compete with the best American stallions available but in most cases has outperformed them and over a long period of time. NEGATIVES -  His major one for most breeders has been his stud fee but at the end of the day that hasn't stopped them breeding to him in large numbers year after year. Otherwise he is just a great stallion with no major issues. OVERVIEW - A "Local" sire who has not only competed with the best North American Stallions but he has consistently outperformed them. His numbers for a stallion based in NZ are truly staggering. World-wide he has left over 1150 winners who have won over $55,000,000 in stakes. He has given the breeding industry in New Zealand the belief in its own product and set the bar for all that follow. OVERALL RATING 9.5 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled  

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three and Western Terror so far and today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding trotting stallion Sundon (In North America called Sondon) Enjoy the read. Sundon was bred in North America by prominent New Zealand breeder Sir Roy McKenzie whose father established the famous Roydon Lodge stud in New Zealand. He was a son of Arndon who was bred by Sir Roy from his good mare Roydon Gal. The dam of Sundon was the B F Coaltown mare in Sungait Song.  Brought to New Zealand with her foal Sundon at foot, this mare has established an outstanding record at stud in New Zealand. Apart from Sundon she has left Sungait Reb (US,1:57.1s), 15 wins 15 seconds and 8 thirds for $178,000 in stakes, Sunning ($95,077), Sunbeam Song ($14,475) and A Touch Of Sun ($37,576). Sunning is the dam of Burano ($105,000) and other daughters have left Roydon Flash ($214,000) and Solar Fire ($214,00) who is the dam of Sheemon ($137,964). RACE RECORD - Bred to North American time, Sundon was giving away six months to his age group competition when he stepped on to the track at two. But that didn't stop him winning 11 straight at that age and he started the same way at three winning 8 of his first 9. He carried on through to Grand Circuit company as a older horse and although he was a bit inconsistent at times, when he put it all together he was nigh unbeatable. All up he faced the starter 60 times for 27 wins and 8 placings on his way to earning $264,000 AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Sundon was known as Sondon in North America. He never stood in North America but he does have 81 horses who have been imported from New Zealand and they have compiled an outstanding record. They are headed by the brilliant Westland Sun 1:52.3s ($729,624) and include such talented horses as Locofoco 1:53.4s ($714,998), Lets Get Serious 1:52.2m ($621,912), Supreme Pat 1:54.3m ($322,891), and Ima Gold Digger 1:55f ($271,289).  As the stats below show his percentages and average earnings are up there with the very best. US statistics Eligible to race - 81 Winners - 76 $100,000+ winners - 34 Sub 1:54 - 4 Average earnings per starter - $119,716 Average earnings per eligible horse - $116,760 Total earnings to date - $9,457,553 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Surprisingly he has only produced 259 live foals in Australia (spread over 16 seasons with his biggest crop totaling just 44 foals) which given his complete dominance of the trotting sires list over nearly twenty years is hard to fathom. Never the less from those foals he has sired such standouts as the outstanding I Didn't Do It ($455,554) along with such smart horses as Donny Bouchea ($326,062), Red Samurai ($230,722), Compressor ($212,303), Right Interest ($202,096) and Aleppo Sunrise ($183,090) to name a few. Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 259 Winners - 107 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 41% $100,000 plus - 16 Average earnings per starter - $37,721 Average earnings per eligible horse - $22,000 Total earnings to date - $5,698,092 BROOD MARE STATS - Already his daughters have produced 47 winners in Australia headed by last years leading two year old in I"m Stately ($182,915) along with Sassy Pinevale ($176,195) and Spidergirl ($139,075) for stakes totaling $1,995,461 to date.    NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - He has completely revolutionized the trotting breed in New Zealand. From his first crop he has stamped himself as a sensational sire and any look at his record in NZ shows how dominant he has been for over 20 years. He has been voted New Zealand 'Stallion Of The Year' four times and he has been the leading trotting sire for many seasons and even managed to top the overall stakes won by all stallions in 2007 which considering the difference in stakes and racing opportunities in New Zealand is truly remarkable. He has left superstars galore with his male offspring headed by the millionaire and champion Sundons Gift ($1,275,264) along with such top performers as Springbank Richard ($651,245), Whatsundermykilt $510,484), Houdini Star ($427,327), Pompallier ($398,138) and Delft $353,910) whilst his females are headed by the brilliant One Under Kenny ($1,060,394) along with such stars as Allegro Agitato ($524,399), Martina H ($391,867), Our Sunny Whiz ($348,781), Some Direction ($307,804) and Escapee ($242,363). His latest star is Master Lavros ($210,868) who is currently the best trotter in NZ. New Zealand statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 1,706 Winners - 670 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 39% $100,000 plus - 54 $1,000,000, plus - 2 Average earnings per starter - $28,622 Average earnings per eligible horse - $14,562 Total earnings to date - $24,844,368 BROOD MARE STATS - Going to be as dominant here as he has been in the siring barn. His mares have already left 278 winners including Vulcan ($858,793), Sovereignty ($716,496), Paramount Gee Gee ($497,100), Habibti ($258,790), Stent ($283,140), Royal Aspirations ($256,149) and Prime Power ($136,759). Stakes won to date are nearing 10 million and he has the opportunity in the next ten years to set benchmarks as a brood mare sire that may never be bettered. POSITIVES - A dominant sire in Australasia for near on 20 years and now doing the same as a brood mare sire. Completely changed the standard of trotting down under and his ability to lift non descript families is legendary. Credit must be given to his owners who have always kept his stud fee very affordable which has allowed the average breeder to access this great sire. NEGATIVES - The word "HOT" and Sundon have always gone together. Gelding was one of the first things you did when acquiring a Sundon colt, hence the absence of any of his star sons at stud. One that may have proved the exception was the speedy Last Sunset 1:55.2 ($312,423) who died prematurely when looking a very promising sire. He sired just 41 foals before his death of which 16 have started for 11 winners to date that have earned $568,198 in stakes to give him an average earnings per starter of a very good $35,512. He only bred the two small crops of 10 and 31. OVERVIEW - Without doubt the greatest trotting sire to have ever stood in Australasia. His  dominance at stud over such a long period has cast a huge shadow over his competition during that period. With over $40,000,000 on his card worldwide and his daughters now leaving the next generation of stars, Sundon has lifted the trotting breed in Australasia to a much higher level than breeders thought possible. A truly great sire and top brood mare sire. OVERALL RATING - 9.5/10 JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Western Terror Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled    

Chilli Palmer officially set the track alight on Victoria Derby night, scorching the ground in the harness racing Garrards 4YO Bonanza. With Ginger Bliss and Guaranteed battling it out at the head of affairs in a 58.6sec first half after the 7.2sec lead time. From there the foot was put firmly to the floor with Guaranteed applying the acid test with a half mile to go as they roared through the third quarter in 26.6sec and the last quarter in 26.8secs. It was the son of Elsu, Chilli Palmer, with the one by one sit who peeled off the two leaders backs and charged through the line to go within 0.4sec of the track record. Coming off the back of a preparation that included a breathtaking win in the McInerney Classic in Perth, he has returned on the way to what could become a vintage Chariots Of Fire to be run on Inter Dominion day at Menangle. The race is likely to included runner up Guaranteed as well as Franco Nelson who was running on in the Hunter Cup. by Blake Redden Harness Racing Victoria  

The Tasmania Premier Harness Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd and Tasracing at 6pm next Friday at Inveresk Showground, Launceston. The sale comprises 39 lots by 17 different sires including Australia’s leading juvenile sire Art Major and the champion North American sire Rocknroll Hanover. Other well known stallions include Courage Under Fire, Shadow Play, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Julius Caesar, Mister Big, Major In Art, Tiz A Masterpiece, Stonebridge Regal and JR Mint.   The offering includes the first foal of the Vicbred 2YO champion and Tasmanian Oaks winner Shez Ryleymak and a colt closely related to the Miracle Mile winner and nominal Inter Dominion favourite Beautide. Besides Shez Ryleymak, the progeny of Group and classic winners Cam River, Mon Poppy Mary, Laconic, Cullens Angel (1:54.8), Thabela Brioso, El Jays Belle, Pennys Dragon and Whata Dragon are listed to go under the hammer. There’s half-brothers and sisters to top performers such as Abbreviated (Vic. Youthful), Cat Bay (Globe Derby Stakes), Cullens Angel (Granny Smith), Daisy Adele, Black Centurian, Prisoner, Laconic Jamane, El Jays Belle, Cruisin Fella and Melolyn. All yearlings presented for sale will be eligible to compete in $10,000 Yearling Sale Classics for two and three-year-olds of both sexes. They will also be eligible for a $2,000 Tasbred win bonus for each of their first two race wins as both as a two and three-year-old. Furthermore, the youngsters are eligible for a one-off $2,000 First Win Bonus for their first race win anywhere in Australia before reaching four years of age. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K.Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com . by Peter Wharton

Champion reinsman David Butcher is likely to miss six months in the sulky after the worst possible diagnosis following a trackwork injury. Butcher has pulled his pectoral muscle away from the bone and will require surgery to reattach it and then a lengthy healing period before he can drive in races again. So the Cambridge horseman has basically written the rest of the season off. He suffered the injury while jogging two horses at home last week, one in the sulky, the other on a lead rope. "The leader pulled back and then stopped in his tracks and I didn't let go of him fast enough," said Butcher. "I knew straight away something pretty bad had happened but hoped it was only a tear and that I'd be back in a month. "But it has come away from the bone and while I can keep driving, it won't heal without an operation and I won't be able to do any lifting or heaps of the other things I do around the stables.   "So I will bite the bullet and get the operation done as soon as possible." While disappointed to be facing such a long stint on the sidelines, Butcher admits it could have been worse. A similar injury at almost any other time in the past decade could have cost him career-defining wins behind the likes of Elsu, Changeover or De Lovely, to mention just a few of the champions he has partnered to group one success on both sides of the Tasman. "But at the moment I am not driving too many big-race winning chances, it is just the way it has fallen. "And last year I was lucky enough to represent New Zealand at the World champs in France, and I would have hated to miss that. "But I'm still not looking forward to being away from racing for so long, especially because it is not my choice." Butcher isn't the only New Zealand harness star out for the season, with top trotting mare Habibti off to the paddock and set to miss over $900,000 worth of races in the next three months. A group one winner this season after dominating her age group on both sides of the Tasman last term, Habibti trotted below her best in defeat at Addington last Friday. That has convinced co-trainer David Butt to spell the 4-year-old and turn down his invitation to the A$200,000 Glenferrie Farm Challenge in Sydney on March 2 as well as the A$350,000 Great Southern Star at Melton three weeks later. However, New Zealand will have two big chances in another Melton classic this Saturday, with Our Maxim and Our Sky Major in the A$200,000 Victoria Derby. The Barry Purdon-trained pair drew perfectly in the classic, Our Maxim at barrier one and his stablemate on his back and possibly set to get the perfect trail. And the race pans out even better for the Auckland pair as pre-draw hot favourite Bling It On has drawn the outside of the front line. Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald

Many of Tasmanian’s leading breeders and studmasters have thrown their support behind the Tasmanian Premier Yearling Sale to be held on Friday, February 14 at the Inveresk Showground, Launceston. Lyndon and Gail Menegon’s Big Park stud, Karoola has the biggest draft with eight lots including two by highly promising sire Major In Art and five by the royally bred Tiz A Masterpiece. The consignment includes half-brothers to the dual Melton winner Cruisin Fella and the Bathurst Tiara heat winner Dakota Hanover and a filly out of the Belmont winner El Jays Belle. Strezlecki Lodge, Windemere, conducted by Brooke Hammond, will offer six yearlings – by five different sires. The pick of the draft appears to be the Rocknroll Hanover colt out of a strong New Zealand family which includes Charleys Dream (Tas. Golden Mile), Village Hero and so on. The Hammond clan will also offer a Stonebridge Regal filly out of the Bandbox Stakes winner Cam River, the dam of Cat Bay (Globe Derby Stakes), and a JR Mint brother to Sales Classic winner Prisoner. The Jetsonville Park Syndicate, who imported JR Mint from America, has entered five yearlings – four fillies and a colt – by the 1:49 $920,000 winning son of Northern Luck. The draft includes a daughter of the Evicus Stakes winner Mon Poppy Mary, whose first foal in Black Centurian took out the Sales Classic. Prominent Devonport breeder and owner Mick Maxfield has nominated two lots, one a colt by champion sire Art Major from a good winning NZ mare and the other an Elsu filly out of a half-sister to the Victoria Sires Classic winner Romeo Castle. Briighton breeder Peter Walker’s four-strong entry includes a pair of fillies by Art Major, one of out Ticket To Angel and the other from her Granny Smith winning daughter Cullens Angel. He will also offer fillies by Shadow Play and Jeremes Jet, both out of winning Resurgent Dragon mares. A Mister Big filly out of the immediate family of Miracle Mile hero Beautide will spearhead the three-strong draft of the Harford-based Paine family. The well made filly is out of Atlarak, a half-sister to Gorse Bush, the dam of Beautide. Brighton studmaster Sue Streit has nominated a colt and a filly by resident stallion Mountain Glory, a former Tasmanian Horse of the Year. For a catalogue or further information contact Kevin Neilson on (03) 6212 9316 or email K. Neilson@tasracing.com.au or the auctioneers Davidson Cameron and Co Dubbo on (02) 6884 8355. The online catalogue for the sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com by Peter Wharton

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