A Bettor’s Delight colt with ‘Rockstar looks’ out of Christian Cullen mare Galleons Supreme has topped the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale, fetching $130,000 for his Woodlands Stud vendors. Bettor Cheer, who is out of a half-sister to star Bettor’s Delight mare Cheer The Lady ($314,625), was purchased by prolific Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and is likely to be trained in New Zealand by Tony Herlihy The bay colt, who was lot 57, hails from the family of top producer No Regrets, who herself was a half sister to Cup winner Globe Bay and a relative of the immortal Cardigan Bay. Galleon’s Cheer, Galleon’s Treasure, No Equal, Nevermore, Chancellor Cullen, Franco Nester, and Franco Nelson are just some of the names printed in black on Bettor Cheer’s pedigree page. John Street of Lincoln Farms was another who was prepared to fork out big dollars at the sale. His most expensive purchase was a Mach Three colt out of top mare Angelina Jane called Like A Hurricane who set him back $96,000, while he also secured a full-brother to Besotted for $32,500, and a Real Desire half-brother to Tintin In America for 84,000. Purdon brothers, Mark and Barry, both purchased yearlings from families they have had great success with in the past, with Barry securing a brother to Bettor Offer for $46,000 and a sister to Five Card Draw and (half) Ideal Belle for $75,000. Mark on the other hand, purchased a Mach Three half-brother to his Oaks winning filly O Baby for $48,000. His other buys included Conversion (Christian Cullen – Coburg), $45,000, and Sophisticated Lady (Mach Three – Gentle Anvil) $70,000, while his large band of owners were also very active. The other top lots were lot 45 - Alta Las Vegas, Bettor's Delight - Alta Camilla ($77,500 - Robert Dunn), lot 75 – Derringer, Bettor’s Delight – Bury My Heart ($75,000 – Mark Jones), lot 76 – Zadaka, Mach Three – Copper Beach ($115, 000 – Geoff Small), and lot 108 – Mavros, Bettor’s Delight – Its Showtime ($75,000 – Rosslands Stud) The overseas contingent once again played a strong part in the sale with many yearlings now Australian bound and two possibly even heading for the USA. Those two particular yearlings are Cyclone Charlie (Rock N Roll Heaven – Eyre To The Throne) and Maia Maguire (Bettor’s Delight – Mystic Gold) who were purchased by G L Banks & M J Hanover of the USA for $74,000 and $31,000 respectively. Meanwhile, the top trotting lot of the day was lot 47, Gunners Coin, a stunning Muscle Hill colt out of Galleons Dream. He reached $100,000 but that fell well short of his $200,000 reserve. To view full results for the Australasian Classic Yearling Sales click here. By Mitchell Robertson
Give The Wink might earn himself a trip to the big time with a little help from his rivals at Cambridge tonight. The talented lower-grade pacer needs to please trainer Geoff Small in the main handicap tonight to be given a shot at the $50,000 Sales Series Pace at Kaikoura on November 4, a trip that could extend into support races at the New Zealand Cup meeting a week later. Most importantly he needs to handle his first ever standing start and Small believes that is where Give The Wink’s rivals may actually help. “The first couple of times we gave him barrier practice by himself he was a bit scared of the tape and didn’t really know what was going on,” admits Small. “But when we have tried it with other horses alongside he has been heaps better. “So I think having other horses there will help and even if he does miss it slightly I’d be surprised if he galloped, he would just be more likely to be slow.” Give The Wink pulled too hard when beaten into third in a much stronger field at Alexandra Park last Friday but anything like his best would see him win tonight, even from the tricky inside barrier on the 10m. He is likely to be accompanied south by Jarcullembra, who continues his New Zealand Cup preparation at Alexandra Park tomorrow night. He caught the eye storming into second behind Besotted last Friday and should improve greatly with that. “I am happy with him and it is good to get a second lead-up run up here,” says Small. “So at this stage the NZ Cup is still the aim and if he races well on Friday then he will probably go to the Kaikoura Cup because the timing works better than the Flying Stakes at Ashburton.” Jarcullembra still officially sits 17th in the NZ Cup rankings but with two near certain withdrawals ranked inside him he is as good as in the Cup field today, with others needing to earn their way past him. Meanwhile, local Mista Mara should win race four tonight to guarantee his trip to Kaikoura for the Sales race as well. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)
Imagine having 80 winners from 35 horses with Geoff Small since 2005 - and at the age of 82 remembering almost every one of them. Laurie Henwood isn’t only a successful standardbred owner, but the Wattle Downs retirement village resident has a memory that would make people half of his age envious.
After a 16-month injury-enforced spell Gomeo Romeo has started his slow and gradual build up to the 2013 New Zealand Cup with a win at the Alexandra Park harness racing workouts on Saturday (June 22).
One of the world's most successful harness racing syndicates has attracted some of the best rugby players in the world into our wonderful sport.
Patumahoe-based harness racing trainer Geoff Small is considering whether to race Zenola Seelster and Jarcullembra close to home at Cambridge on Thursday night (October 11) or head to Christchurch for the Canterbury Classic the following day.
Sir Lincoln. has suffered a minor viral-respiratory complaint and has been scratched from tonight's (October 5) feature harness racing event at Alexandra Park - the Trillian Trust Handicap.
You can see why Cambridge harness racing driver was selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in France next year. The master reinsman was again on fire at his home track tonight (Thursday September 27) winning three of the 10 races on the Cambridge-Te Awamutu harness Racing Club's card.
With harness racing's most exciting time of the year quickly approaching, Harnesslink thought it was only right that we caught up with some of New Zealand's leading trainers and drivers to talk to them about how their cup contenders have come up and their likely build up race programmes.
One start - one winner. Controversial harness racing trainer Geoff Small is back - and winning!
"It's what brothers do for each other," said Franklin-based harness racing trainer, Ian Small.
The career of the brilliant but unsound harness racing mare De Lovely has finally been cut short by injury. Just weeks after facing the reality and imminent retirement of the highly talented Cowgirls N Indians, Zenola Farms has been dealt their second contagious blow when De Lovely's troublesome knee forced brothers Ian and Geoff Small to end the racing career of the supersonic mare.
Harness racing star De Lovely has been off the scene for more than six months but her return to Alexandra Park on Friday night (December 9) should add plenty of interest to the $30,000 Group Three Caduceus Club Northern Breeders Stakes.
Peter Hilliard had a taste of Canadian harness racing earlier this year and loved it so much he's handed in his resignation to his employer of eight years - Geoff Small, Patumahoe.
North American harness racing fans know all about the driving talents of Dexter Dunn, who is currently in the United States about to compete in the World Driving Championships. But be warned he's not the only New Zealand junior driver who has the talent to take on the world.
While his boss Ian Small trained four winners at last night's (Thursday July 14) Cambridge-Te Awamutu Harness Racing Club's meeting - longtime employee Peter Hilliard achieved his own career milestone. The 22-year-old notched up his 15th win (and first this season) behind Matai Mies in the second event - ensuring the Patumahoe-based junior driver is now eligible to drive at feature meetings in New Zealand.