Two of the stallions that appeared on the Alabar Stallion Roster in 2013 will be heading for new farms in the upcoming breeding season. Firstly Major In Art, the 2008 USTA Two Year Old of the Year will be heading north of the border to Darren Reay’s Medowie Lodge on the outskirts of Newcastle. The handsome son of Art Major is not far outside the Top Ten on the Australian Three Year Old Sires List in this current season. He has sired 21 winners of over $310,000 to date including the smart Queensland pacer Major Sam 1:54.7 and the Bathurst based pacers Smack Dab Shannon 2:00.1 and Lagoon Stride 1:59.8. The Two Year Old colt Artillery Major was a fast finishing second in $102,000 Pearl Classic Final at Gloucester Park in mid June. Medowie Lodge is based in the strong Harness Racing area surrounding Newcastle and Major In Art should be a welcome boost for breeders in that area and indeed for breeders throughout NSW. Darren Reay can be contacted by phoning 0429 817 199. The trotting stallion Great Success is the other lad on the move. He will be taking a trip across the Tasman to take up residence at Ken and Jan Wills’ property of Niota Bloodstock at Girgarre (near Shepparton) in Victoria. The now ten year old stallion sired the exciting, but injury plagued gelding, Roy Hobbs tr 2:00.2 in his first crop and has since sired the recent multiple winners Boundary Row, Jeter and Senitas Success. Ken and Jan Wills can be contacted on (03) 5854 6572. Finally an update on Safari, the powerful son of Fake Left. He will be heading back to Alabar’s Echuca property next month to join the other seven stallions that are based at the northern Victoria property. July has been a good month for the progeny of Safari and in particular three fillies. Berisari had only the smallest of noses that separated her from a victory in the $110,000 Vicbred Final for three year old fillies, whilst on the same night Viva Safari finished runner up in the two year old Vicbred Final for fillies to take her seasons earnings past $50,000. Meanwhile in Queensland, the three year old filly Beef City Safari finished second and then a fast closing third to star filly Nike Franco in the Gold Coast and Queensland Oaks respectively. Safari’s service fee will be unchanged from that of last season - $1,650 (incl GST). Alabar Stud
Art Major's best son, Art Official had his first winner in Australia last week when the smart colt Bevendale Boy won the two year old race at the harness racing meeting at Bathurst on July 9th. One of an initial crop of just 10 in Australia, Bevendale Boy was having his eleventh lifetime start last Wednesday and while it was his first win he had run 6 placings prior to the win which took his overall purse earnings to $19,560. Bevendale Boy was good enough to make the final of the $322,000 Australian Gold and looks an immature type who should develop into a lovely three year old. Bevendale Boy is from the Fake Left mare Gossamer Girl who is already the dam of the talented Four Grinners 1:56.6 ($73,270). Gossamer Girl is a full sister to Colorado Code 1:54.4 ($191,017) and is closely related to such smart horses as Good Looking Girl 1:53.7 ($361,445) Guitarzan 1:56.9 ($216,956) and Forever After 1:56.2 ($172,808). Bevendale Boy winning at Bathurst Art Official continues to do a good job with his first crop in North America (now 3 year olds) in 2014. Standing in Pennsylvania Art Official’s progeny had to compete in the rich PA Sire Stakes Series against the likes of Somebeachsomewhere and Well Said and those two stallions were bred to the best mares in history, so Art Official's early results are very encouraging. His flag bearer is the very smart colt, Lets Drink On It 1:48.3 ($272,232) who looks to be getting better with every run this season in the same way his sire Art Official did in his 3 year old year. The other night at the Meadowlands he dropped back to last from barrier nine before storming home late to win in 1:49, the last quarter in a blistering 25.2. Lets Drink On It Two smart fillies in Sister Stroll 1:54.1 ($120,696) and Cinamony 1:50.3 ($117,082) have been going great guns as well in the last few weeks. While the first crop of Art Official in Australia numbers only ten, (and that makes it very hard to get a line on a stallion) his second crop to race next season number 66 and that will give us a much better idea of how he is performing as a sire in Australia. Harnesslink media
Alta Christiano, one of Australasia’s most exciting harness racing prospects, has had his brilliant career cut short by injury. He has been retired and will stand at Alabar this season – and beyond. With Im Themightyquinn, champion West Australian trainer, Gary Hall has the greatest horse in Australasia. In Alta Christiano he felt he had his heir apparent. In the words of Gary Hall: “For Alta Christiano to win the WA Derby in only his second start for us – and after only eight weeks work – was outstanding. He drew 10, sat outside them and was just too good. “When he came back as a four-year-old we had nothing else that could go with him in work so we had to work him with Quinny – and Quinny really had to open up and stretch his neck to get past him – and then there wasn’t much in it. There’s not too many horses that could make Quinny go all out - not on a one-on-one basis. “When Alta Christiano set his time of 1:54.2 at Gloucester Park he sat three wide outside them and just jogged it. Gary didn’t even pull the earplugs. He said he could easily had broken 1:53 that night if he’d wanted to. I was pleased on the night that he didn’t have to – but looking back I wish he had let the brakes off as everyone would have been able to see what an outstanding horse this is. “It’s a great shame that he never really had another chance to show the type of horse he was. As a four-year-old he was never 100% in all his wins. This was a serious horse. “Of all the top sons of Christian Cullen, he had the gait that was the closest to Cullen himself as I’d seen. He’s also the one that I feel looked the most like Cullen. “He’s got all the attributes you could want in a horse – he’s fast, he can stay and he’s great gaited. Very quick – with high, high speed but also very strong with a high cruising speed. “In my eyes there can’t be a better prospect as a stallion. He’s out of a Fake Left mare and is a direct descendant of Black Watch. If gait, speed, pedigree and temperament make a stallion then he’s got everything.” On Sky Channel’s “In The Gig” earlier this year, Johnny Tapp – an icon of Australian racing broadcasting – compared Alta Christiano to the champion galloper Might And Power. Quite the compliment indeed. After all, Might And Power was one of the greats of Australian racing - rated the world’s best stayer in 1997 when, as a four-year-old he won the Caulfield Cup / Melbourne Cup double. He’s the only horse to lead all the way to win both great races. Like Might And Power, Alta Christiano has a free-striding style, a high cruising speed and could effortlessly draw away from fields without even appearing to accelerate – traits he also shares with his own champion sire, Christian Cullen. Alta Christiano was bred in New Zealand by Tony and Val Dickinson’s Alta Breeding Co Ltd. Right from his very first start he showed he was something special – winning on debut in February 2012 as a two-year-old in 1:56.8 by 7 ½ lengths with a 57.5 last half – paying $1.20. He also went on to win his next three starts in 1:57.6 (the Gr.3 NZ Kindergarten Stakes), 1:56.6 and 1:59.6 (last half in 56.5). Undoubtedly the hottest youngster on the New Zealand harness racing scene, he was sold for huge money to clients of Gary Hall’s Perth stable. The intention being that he would continue to race in New Zealand through both the NZ two and three-year-old Sires Stakes Series. Following a massive third in the $250,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final the plans went somewhat pear-shaped culminating in the diagnosis of a spiral fracture in his near hind leg. After a long period of recuperation he joined the Hall stable – and became an instant sensation. First-up he won the $50,000 Gr.2 Western Gateway Pace in 1:55.4. He then absolutely monstered them in the $200,000 Gr.1 WA Derby and in his only other start as a three-year-old he won at Pinjarra in 1:54.9. This season as four-year-old, he was in sensational form. His last four starts were victories - mostly by wide margins - in 1:56.9, 1:55.3, 1:54.2 (after sitting three wide) and 1:56.7. Only ever beaten once in nine starts in Australia, Alta Christiano most certainly excited race-goers – had it not been for being a day-to-day proposition (in all probability due to the after effects of his original injury) it could have been oh so much more. It will be as a stallion that he now gets the opportunity to fulfil this immense promise. He certainly has the pedigree to be a stallion – not only are the first four sires in his pedigree all champion, premiership-winning sires (Christian Cullen, Fake Left, Vance Hanover and Noodlum) but he also boasts the former NZ Broodmare of the Year, Black Watch as his fourth dam. Alta Christiano will be based at Alabar’s Victorian farm and will be available in Australia at a fee of A$2,750 (incl GST) and in New Zealand at NZ$2,750 (plus GST).
Queensland horseman Steven Doherty is ready for the next chapter in his career. Today (Monday), Doherty will leave Australian shores bound for Europe where he will be based with trainer Henk Grift in Germany for the next twelve months. The 28yo will join the Dutch born trainer who prepares a huge team of trotters near Dusseldorf. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for the gifted farrier and he’s eager to make the most of his time abroad. “I’ve got to thank Darren McCall and his partner Karina for providing me with this opportunity. Karina is a good friend of world respected administrator Klaus Koch and things snowballed from there, I got my visa sorted at the German Consulate in Sydney and now we’re off and I can’t wait.” Doherty explained. Grift regularly competes at venues in France, Germany, Scandinavia and his native Holland with great success. Doherty will carry out plenty of farrier work for the Grift stable but is also hopeful of doing some race driving during his time in northern Europe. “I’m not actually sure what my role will be within the stable but I know there will be plenty of horses to be shod and that’s fine because I’m certain to learn many new techniques, it will be vastly different to what I know but I’m really looking forward to creating new styles and learning a lot more in this area. “If I can carry out some race driving during my time up there that will be an added bonus, I enjoy the trotters and it will be great to work with some very talented animals. “The timing is just right; I’m young and single with no major commitments and I’ve heard so many great stories from those who have travelled previously. I’m going with an open mind and I’m really looking forward to it although the language barrier may take some sorting but that’s all part of the adventure.” Doherty is the son of Peter, a respected horseman along with his grandfather Jim Madden while his Uncle Craig McKinnis, is a highly decorated Victorian based farrier. In 2006, Doherty represented Queensland in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship staged in both Victoria and Tasmania. Doherty drove his first winner at age 16 when successful aboard the Ann Perrin trained Karamea Rosalie at Rocklea. Former Redwood Classic winner Bonbillie Fella is rated as the best trotter that Doherty has set behind, winning three of his four drives behind the Fake Left entire. By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)
Terang trainer Marg Lee continued her remarkable strike rate, when first starter Keayang Active greeted the judge in the Bayswater Jayco 3-Y-0 Pace over 2100 metres at Charlton in Central Victoria on Monday September 25, returning a mile rate of 2-02. Driven by nephew Glen Craven who has only just returned to the sulky after having a knee attended to, Keayang Active a well supported gelded son of Art Major and the Fake Left mare Delta Dream began speedily from the pole and despite a serious challenge as the mobile pulled away by Jumbo Asakei (gate six), easily retained the inside running. Travelling boldly under a tight rein, Keayang Active bounded away on the final bend to record an untouched 5.1 metre victory in advance of In The Trenches (one/two – three wide last lap), with Jumbo Asakei which had dropped down to trail the winner after the early burn a further 1.9 metres away in third place. The heavily backed Ellen Tormey trained and driven favourite Done And Dusted also on debut, dropped out after moving to face the open mid-race. Popular Moonlight (Maryborough) trainer John Douglas made a welcome return to the winners stall when lightly raced 8-Y-0 Wind Cries Maori/Lopsided gelding Right Side Up scored in the Charlton & District Community bank Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2100 metres. Making his 30th appearance at the races, Right Side Up with Bendigo’s Chris Svanosio in the cart, led throughout in accounting for a death-seating Sans Frontiere which appeared to have him covered on the home turn, with the 40 metre equal backmarker Allawart Ugo (one/one) third. The mile rate a pedestrian 2-09.5. John Douglas was one of Victoria’s top junior reinsmen in the Showgrounds and early Moonee Valley era when attached to John Harland’s Flemington stable. On a day of short priced favourites, Mildura’s Shayne Cramp combined with Nathan Jack to land the Dunlop Superdealer Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2100 metres with South Australian owned mare Spokeswoman, a 4-Y-0 daughter of Art Major and Fatalistic. Safely holding the inside running from the pole, Spokeswoman ($1.50) was untroubled to lead throughout to score from Tere T which had an early dig for the front from gate four before dropping down to be three back the markers. Aftermidnight Sam (one/one – three wide last lap) finished third. The mile rate 1-58.5. Last season’s leading trainer at Charlton, Rochester based Mark Thompson snared the Charlton Community Newsletter Pace with classy 4-Y-0 Falcon Seelster/Karamea Toastime gelding Timeseel an unbackable $1.10 chance. Driven by stable reinsperson Ellen Tormey, Timeseel had nothing more than “a stroll in the park”, winning by 14.5 metres from Wealthy Warrior which trailed and Absolootmagic (one/one) in a rate of 2-00.6. by Len Baker
The countdown to next month’s Eugowra Canola Cup has already begun with Bathurst trainer Mark Butler targeting the feature maiden event with three talented pacers. The best performed of the trio is Sky Falcon, a half brother to Our Sky Major, and he has been performing extremely well at the trials at Bathurst over the past month and looks set to be a major contender for $20,000 event. “He has won three trials at Bathurst over the last few weeks and I’m really happy with where he is at and by the time the Canola Cup comes around he will be spot on,” Butler said. “When he first arrived in Australia he was pretty fine but after the few runs that I gave him he had a good break and he has really thickened up with the spell, he is looking super.” Butler has been giving the son of Falcon Seelster plenty of ground work and he admits that it has been a case of timing his run with the four year old. “He has been brought up very slowly but I have focused on the Eugowra race because it is one I would really like to win in the country, it has been won by some really nice horses and you have to have a fair bit of ability to win one of them.” “The other two horses I have ready for the race are Marty Bee, he is a bit of a one paced type but he is very tough and he just keeps on coming and Left Neglected, I think he is one of the last sons of Fake Left, he is unraced and a big raw boned type but he is going to make a nice horse.” Butler is contemplating setting Sky Falcon for the Mount Eden Series during the Miracle Mile carnival, a race eligible for four year olds assessed C0 to C5. “It is definitely the sort of race I would be thinking of setting him for after Eugowra, if he isn’t quite ready for that then one of those country finals at Menangle would be a good option too.” Courtesy of Harness Racing New South Wales
Talented two-year-old pacer Mickwillrev stamped himself as a horse with a future following his game win in the $10,000 Tasmanian Premier’s Breeders Plate over 2090 metres at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart tonight (Sunday). Mickwillrev faced the breeze outside of the well-backed Victorian youngster Hand Of The King for almost the entire race but he made light of the task. Premier reinsman Gareth Rattray looked to be working overtime on Mickwillrev turning for home but the bay gelding dug deep at the business end of the race to go on and score by a metre from Rusty Red Comet that trailed the leader and had to be eased back to make his run three-wide. Hand Of The King hung on for third ahead of the fast-finishing Vande Velde and Who Is Hardeen. It was Mickwillrev’s third win from only five starts this season and he was second at his other two outings. The Craig Hayes-trained gelding is by Live Or Die from the Fake Left mare Midnight Sapphire that has had two foals to race and bother are winners with the other being Cantiscape that won eight and was placed 14 times from 60 starts in New South Wales. by Peter Staples
Pelicanrama, Miss Galvinator, Lourdes and Cornsilk, four of the best harness racing mares ever raced in this country, will go up for auction at the Soho Standardbreds Weanling and Mares In Foal Sale to be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on Sunday, July 28 at Tamarin Park, Toolern Vale.
As part of our Breeders Challenge sponsorship with Alabar Bloodstock, Harness Racing NSW will proudly offer services to both Art Major and Mach Three again this season.
Empire Stallions' flagship Rocknroll Hanover topped the sire averages at the Australian Pacing Gold Melbourne harness racing sale held at Oaklands Junction on Sunday (February 3).
Devil Dodger's an upbeat character who has adjusted well to his new Queensland lifetsyle, but tomorrow night (Friday January 25) the former Kiwi will face his toughest harness racing test yet in the Group One $150,000 Ballarat Pacing Cup at Bray Raceway.
In its second season, the first heat of the Christian Cullen mares' harness racing series ticked all the boxes. John Mooney the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Chairman was delighted with the outcomes reporting that.
Scott Phelan is backing doing what he does best on his favourite harness racing track. The 30-year-old Clevedon reinsman notched up his fourth winner since early September at Alexandra Park tonight (Friday November 2).
Art Major, Safely Kept and Fake Left, three stallions who have had a profound influence on breeding in Australia over the past decade, were recipients of IRT sponsored Globe Derby Awards for the 2011/12 season.
In further support for the victims of the Leeton Paceway fire, Yirribee Stud at Wagga and the McCarthy harness racing family have donated a service to For A Reason, the first son of Art Major to stand in New South Wales, with a service fee of $2,500.
Hold your horses North American harness racing fans - you can't lay claim to fame to possessing the richest pacer in history as stated by the world's media last week.