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U May Cullect is regarded by many as the rising star of New Zealand harness racing.   Unbeaten in four starts to date, the Southland pacer has built up a level of excitement that few horses ever do.   Now very much the pride of the south, the son of Gotta Go Cullect was purchased by Tom Kilkelly for $5,200 as a weanling at Karaka from the annual Alabar NZ draft.   This year, Alabar NZ have a consignment of 55 weanlings selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale being held at Karaka on Monday, 6 May.   The sale starts at 11am with an Open Inspection Day being held at the sales venue the day before (Sunday, 5 May) between 1pm and 4pm.   Come along, who knows, you may collect harness racing’s next excitement machine.   The highlights of a 2019 draft stacked with quality include:    Five weanlings from the first crop of Always B Miki. The fastest horse of all time and the horse that Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy Takter was quoted as saying “I think this could be the greatest horse that ever lived”   The first North American yearlings by Always B Miki are due to sell later this year and, being by a superstar of the sport and out of some of the best mares in the world, they are sure to sell extremely well.   The Alabar weanling draft gives buyers the chance to get ahead of this hype.   To add to the attraction they are also outstanding types.    Three weanlings by champion sire Art Major including a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9 Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt    Four weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons Lot 120 Majestic Son - Letz Hope colt    Seven weanlings by He’s Watching who’s off to an excellent start with his first crop with five individual winners including the recent impressive Cambridge winner Eagle Watch (3rd Young Guns Final) and Star Hunter, a multiple Australian winner who was a close second in 1:53.3 in the APG Heat at Menangle on Tuesday. He looks like being one of the favourites for the Final Lot 106 He's Watching - Hip Pocket colt    Four weanlings from the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill. Being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers Lot 108 Racing Hill - Ineedanorvic colt      Six weanlings by A Rocknroll Dance, a sire who is sitting fourth on the NZ 3yo Sires’ Premiership with his first crop Lot 200 A Rocknroll Dance - Cote D Azure filly    Six weanlings by Sportswriter, the prolific juvenile sire who sired 43 individual 2yo winners in Australia last season and showed NZ a preview of his quality by quinellaing the Southland Oaks last weekend.    Three weanlings by Sunshine Beach, already the sire of 10 in 1:55 (3 in 1:53) with his first crop of early 3yo’s in North America Lot 116 Sunshine Beach - La Joconde colt    The only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra. Of note, with the weanling being offered being a filly, Kadabra is one of the all-time great sires of trotting mares with four millionaire mares to his credit including the US$4 million winner, Bee A Magician. Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly     In what will be a somewhat poignant moment for the Alabar team, the last ever weanling by the great and ill-fated Mach Three appropriately rounds out the draft to be offered. Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly    For more information contact Peter Lagan (021 424 606) or Rachel Deegan (021 939 950) at NZB Standardbred.     Graeme Henley

New Zealand Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand Four-Year-Old Pacer of the Year.   New Zealand’s fastest ever pacer over both 1950 and 2200 metres.   A four-time Group One winner.   By an eight-time New Zealand Stallion of the Year from a mare destined to be New Zealand’s Broodmare of the Year.   Ultimate Machete has a stallion’s résumé and a stallion’s pedigree.   Now purchased by Alabar and Nevele R studs to stand at Alabar’s Auckland property, he’s also going to have a stallion’s opportunity.   New Zealand and Australian racing is dominated by horses that thrive on today’s style of racing.   Horses that are able to roll forward into the race and then be unrelenting in last halves run in 54 seconds or better.   Ultimate Machete, with extreme toughness and a high cruising speed, personified this never-say-die rolling style of racing.   These qualities should come as no surprise as he is by Bettor’s Delight out of a mare by Armbro Operative, so bred 3x3 to Cam Fella.   His entrance to the stud scene is surely timely, as many broodmare owners will see that breeding to him is breeding to a horse tailor-made for today’s racing.   With his pedigree, the attributes he brought to his racing and also his stature (standing a shade over 16’) he will be an ideal consort for the many mares that are bred along speed lines.   He is well suited to daughters of Christian Cullen, In The Pocket, Mach Three, Somebeachsomewhere, Courage Under Fire, Changeover, Art Major, Dream Away, Real Desire, American Ideal, Falcon Seelster, Safely Kept, Live Or Die and Badlands Hanover to name but a few.   In an outstanding race career, Ultimate Machete’s flagship victories were: - The NZ Sires Stakes Three-Year-Old Final at Addington on NZ Cup Day - where he announced his arrival as a rising star. His winning performance was nothing short of phenomenal, being caught out wide and just keeping rolling to be far too good in what was a New Zealand record for 1950m at the time. It is regarded as the best ever performance in the history of the race.   - Twelve months later, in the NZ Free-For-All on Show Day at the same venue, he did what many thought impossible by sitting outside Tiger Tara before winning the home straight war to claim victory – and in doing so, reclaiming his New Zealand record for the 1950m distance (2:15.7, a 1:51.9 mile rate).   - He then ventured to Perth where he monstered the Group One double for four-year-olds in the WA Classic and the WA Golden Nugget – wonderful efforts by the big horse around the tight Gloucester Park circuit and a testimony to his gait. He then ran a close up fourth in the Fremantle Cup before injury curtailed a blitz on the Victorian classics.   As a two-year-old, his second by a ½ head in the NZ Jewels, after being wide early then working to the lead, was a precursor to what would be a wonderful three-year-old season.   The other highlights to his three-year-old season were equalling the all-age New Zealand 2200m record (2:36.1) in winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series 3yo Final, winning the Alabar Classic and the NZ Flying Stakes (53.9 last 800m) as well as finishing second in the NZ, Northern and NSW Derbies.   All told, Ultimate Machete won 13 of 32 starts for $850,361 in stakes.   He’d already done enough to be regarded as a star - but a niggling, leg-injury-enforced retirement surely robbed him of being an open class colossus.   He was the early favourite for the 2018 New Zealand Cup but it wasn’t to be.   Co-trainer, Mark Purdon is full of respect for Ultimate Machete,   “He was a very tough horse with a great attitude. He never gave in, always trying right to the wire.He was a horse who could really maintain his high speed.”   Ultimate Machete is impeccably bred, being a full-brother to super-star three-year-old Ultimate Sniper. Their dam (Reality Check) was a very smart race filly winning the NZ Yearling Sales Series Two-Year-Old Fillies’ Final. She is also the dam of the top Western Australia racemare, Major Reality (1:50.9, $434,415).   His grandam is the NZ Broodmare of Excellence winner, Maureens Dream, who is a half-sister to the excellent sire Tuapeka Knight.   This is a prodigious family made famous by renowned breeders, Tuapeka Lodge. Ultimate Machete is one of its proudest sons.   He will stand his debut season at Alabar NZ (in association with Nevele R) at an introductory service fee of $3,000 (plus GST)   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

The Inspection Day for the 2019 Alabar NZ weanling draft is being held on their farm at 480 Seagrove Road, Waiau Pa this Sunday, 14 April from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome. The draft will be selling at the NZB Standardbred All Aged Sale at Karaka on 6 May. There will also be a further opportunity to inspect the weanlings at Karaka the day before the sale where an Open Day is being held between 1pm and 4pm. The Alabar draft totals 57 weanlings and features: -  5 weanlings from the first crop of Always B MIki (1:46, a dual Breeders Crown winner and the fastest horse ever). Miki himself is a tall and athletic horse and his first weanlings are a credit to him. This debut offering by one of the all-time racing greats is sure to be well sought after Lot 135 Always B Miki - Pacific Glory filly - 4 weanlings by Art Major (incl a full-brother to Alta Maestro and a daughter of Annie Morva, 1:52.9) Lot 179 Art Major - Alta Camilla colt - 5 weanlings by Majestic Son, the leading trotting sire in both New Zealand and Australia for the last two seasons - and the only weanling ever to sell in NZ by champion US trotting sire Kadabra Lot 206 Kadabra - Cyclone Emily filly - The last ever weanling by the great Mach Three Lot 152 Mach Three - Samantha Chloe filly   - weanlings by He’s Watching and Sunshine Beach who are doing excellent jobs with their debut two-year-old crops leaving multiple winners and, in He’s Watching’s case, the stakes placed Eagle Watch and Cassius Bromac in New Zealand - the only Southern Hemisphere crop by the US 3yo Breeders Crown winner, Racing Hill (being the greatest son of Roll With Joe, a top sire who is no longer available to New Zealand breeders, is sure to be something that will grab the attention of buyers) - 3 weanlings by Peak who has currently left four two-year-old trotting winners in Australasia this season – more than any other sire. The draft represents an excellent opportunity for investors and pin-hookers alike, in that it features not only the full foal crop of Alabar NZ Ltd but also that of the highly prominent commercial breeders Alta Breeding Co Ltd.   Graeme Henley General Manager Alabar (NZ) Ltd

Want to be involved in the excitement of racing the first Auckland Reactors? Alabar is putting together a syndicate so you can do just that. As one of New Zealand’s greatest on the racetrack, Auckland Reactor has been extremely well supported at stud. His first yearlings will enter the sale ring next month – and the reports as to their quality continue to build. The yearlings for the syndicate will be hand-picked at the 2016 Yearling Sales by three of New Zealand’s top trainers – Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Geoff Small and Nathan Williamson. The appeal of having yearlings selected and trained by these outstanding horse-people is obvious – as is the fact that they represent a geographical spread throughout New Zealand with them being based in Auckland, Canterbury and Southland. Another point of interest with the syndicate is that fractional ownerships from 2% upwards will be available. This is a very popular system in North America with owners being able to choose the level of investment they are comfortable with – bringing a range of people together in the enjoyment of racing a horse. Full details will be available from Alabar after the 2016 Yearling Sales. There is a possibility the syndicate will also include the progeny of a proven Alabar sire. Alabar’s Graeme Henley says, “We’ve been thinking about starting up syndicates for a while now. It’s been watching the first crop of Auckland Reactor develop into such impressive types that’s got us excited to kick it off this year. “What’s more, Ivan Behrnes is going to look after the syndicate for us and he’s really passionate about it – you need someone with that level of enthusiasm and commitment to bring it all together for everyone involved. “It should be a lot of fun seeing the syndicate horses race from Invercargill to Alexandra Park and, who knows, maybe Australia as well. “We’ve already had a lot of interest so it looks like it will fill up pretty quickly. The plan is to do other syndicates in the future including ones specifically for breeding and another for the trotters - I’m sure there is a place and a demand for them.” For further information or to register your interest contact Ivan Behrnes - Alabar Syndicate Manager 03 615 6332, Alabar (NZ) Ltd is an authorised syndicator

It is a fact of life in harness racing that having a season or two away from the track due to injury or illness can be career ending for some horses who never recapture their former glory once they comeback. Having a horse attempting a comeback after six and a half years on the sidelines due to injury and stallion duty would seem a herculean task but that is what the former age group star Gotta Go Cullect is attempting at the moment. Brought outright by Alabar (NZ) Ltd for stud duties when injury brought his racing career to a premature end , Gotta Go Cullect was given every show by breeders in his six years at stud. He has served 550 mares in those six seasons which has resulted in 399 live foals on the ground. As of today he has produced 45 winners including such smart types as Al Raza 1:52.1 (H) ($149,977), the Southland Oaks winner Royal Counsel, 1:54.2 ($88,202), the current form pacer Cullect A Guinness, 1:55.1 ($39,690 and Harrysul 1:57.1 ($45,056) but overall his numbers have fallen short of what is required in today’s hugely competitive stallion market and the numbers of mares he served each season has dropped accordingly. Alabar head honcho Graeme Henley was at a crossroads as the 2015-2016 breeding season drew close on what to do with Gotta Go Cullect – especially with the imminent arrival of high profile new recruit He’s Watching meaning Alabar needed to free up a stallion paddock. " I’d previously had a couple of approaches from Jay Abernethy to lease the horse and when I weighed it all up that looked to be the best option for Gotta Go Cullect going forward." "Especially with Jay having a water treadmill to get him fit without having to put pressure on his legs." " Jay had driven Gotta Go Cullect in his first five starts for four wins and a second and has a genuine fondness for the horse and was keen to be reunited with him." " Gotta Go Cullect has had six years as a stallion." "He’s kept himself fairly fit but without the stress of training and racing. As a result his legs were looking great when he went to Jay's." " The reports from Jay have been very positive and I think at this stage it is highly likely we will see Gotta Go Cullect back at the races early in 2016. We’re really grateful to Jay for looking after Gotta Go Cullect and hope it goes well for them both" Graeme said.   Gotta Go Cullect was an outstanding two and three year old racing against quality horses such as Stunin Cullen, 1:53.7 ($1,493,716), Highview Tommy 1:54 ($1,021,904) and Tintin In America 1:53.2 ($934,305) and while it is unrealistic to expect him to race at that level again at this stage of his career, class will ensure he won't disgrace himself where ever he lines up. 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).  

Addington is delighted to announce that Australasia’s leading standardbred stud Alabar will be sponsoring Addington’s Seasonal Super Series in the 2014-15 season. The series will be known as the Alabar Super Series. Alabar have for some time been Australasia’s dominant standardbred stud and since they were founded in the foothills of Adelaide in 1950 their stallions have continued to be amongst the very best available. Their current stallion roster featuring the likes of Art Major, Mach Three and Majestic Son has sired the winners of over a staggering $197,000,000 in the southern hemisphere and their stallions have sired the winners of almost every major race in Australasia including Inter Dominion Finals, major Cups, Derbies, Oaks and Breeders Crown Finals. Graeme Henley Alabar NZ’s General Manager commented “Addington are to be applauded for the initiatives they are putting in place to bolster the opportunities i a class that caters for our largest group of horses and owners. These finals will be the “Group Ones” for many. We’re pleased to be able to support them in a material way – they’re the lifeblood of our industry.” The Chairman of the Met, Barry Dent, said “The Club was delighted to have Alabar extending their proud business relationship with us by sponsoring these Series in the new season. It is a great fit. The first Alabar Series’ gives owners of pacers and trotters up to C2 at 3 May 2014 the opportunity to race for significantly enhanced stakes provided they race twice in our races between 10 May and 31 July 2014. It is now up to owners and trainers to support the Club.” The first Alabar Super Series will be held on 8 August with further dates to be announced during the 2014-15 season. Alabar NZ has an exciting book of Stallions for the upcoming breeding season. For more information please visit Full details for the Alabar Super Series in August can be viewed at under Racing – Promotions and Incentives. Alternatively, please phone Brian Rabbitt or Richard Bromley of Addington’s Racing Department on 03 338-9094. Ged Mooar Marketing & Commercial Manager Addington

In a ground-breaking arrangement, the two most time-honoured stud farms in New Zealand and Australia are partnering on a stallion – and will be partnering on more in the future. The stallion with the honour of consummating this relationship is the multiple World Record holder and Meadowlands Pace winner, A Rocknroll Dance – the first horse ever to record multiple sub-1:50 wins as a two-year-old and the only horse ever to win three consecutive races in sub-1:48. A $2.4 million winning son of Rocknroll Hanover, A Rocknroll Dance will stand at Nevele R in Canterbury with Alabar coordinating the marketing throughout New Zealand and Australia. Commercial breeders will no doubt gain great confidence from this arrangement as it should ensure A Rocknroll Dance an outstanding book of mares and give him the firepower to make a real impact at the sales and beyond. The participants in this deal make no secret of the significance they attach to it. Helena Francis, daughter of the late Wayne Francis and now managing director of Nevele R Stud: “Nevele R Stud has a proud history over the years of bringing to the breeders outstanding stallions. “By partnering with Alabar we see this as a means of ensuring that top stallions are available to our breeders. “We are looking forward to the opportunities that will arise from this relationship.” Graeme Henley from Alabar: “This is the way of the future. We’ll also be partnering on future deals. Both Nevele R and ourselves are committed to accessing the very best stallions for our breeders – to achieve this we need to not only work together and but also alongside the major farms in North America. “We wanted the first stallion we stood together to be the absolute best available – there’s no doubt A Rocknroll Dance is a very special horse.” Adam Bowden (principal of Diamond Creek Farm, the managers of A Rocknroll Dance, the owners of the most elite broodmare band in harness racing and a burgeoning force in the North America stud scene): “We believed in A Rocknroll Dance as a racehorse, we believe in him as a stallion, and we believe the combination of forces between Nevele R and Alabar in the Southern Hemisphere only begins to scratch the surface of what the future will hold. A stallion with his looks, pedigree and race record are a rare combination and combined with the success of Northern and Southern Hemisphere powerhouses Diamond Creek Farm, Nevele R Stud, and Alabar Farms, the sky is the limit.” A Rocknroll Dance is currently serving a full book in his first season at Diamond Creek’s Pennsylvania farm. His book is one of the best books afforded to a new stallion and includes the likes of one of the greatest fillies of recent times See You At Peelers ($1,573,260), the $2.6 million winner Loyal Opposition, the millionaire Tidewaterdragonfly, the brilliant filly Isabella Blue Chip (p,2,1:51.4, $792,069) and Wheres The Beach (the dam of none other than the great Somebeachsomewhere). Interestingly for the breeders of Australasia, both See You At Peelers and Isabella Blue Chip are by Bettor’s Delight. A Rocknroll Dance earned this tremendous support with a race career that was glittered with highlights. He was the richest two-year-old of his year and equalled the world record at that age. As a three-year-old he not only won the Meadowlands Pace but also the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine - in identical times of 1:48.2. As a four-year-old he was a monster, setting world records on both five-eighths (1:47.8) and half-mile tracks (1:49.2). His outstanding achievement of three consecutive sub-1:48 wins was recorded in winning an invitational at Pocono Downs (1:47.8) and the elimination and final of the $651,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.6 and 1:47.4). He is one of only three pacers in history to win in sub-1:50 at two, three and four. A horse who could lead or power over the opposition at the finish, he paced eleven sub-27 last quarters – fastest 25.4 and four sub-27 first quarters (when leading) – the fastest in 25.2. He defeated twelve millionaires, incl Foiled Again $6,089,210, Sweet Lou $2,133,011, Golden Receiver $2,130,368, Pet Rock $1,985,820, Atochia $1,793,594, Clear Vision $1,791,052, Bolt The Duer $1,724,645, etc. Bred in the purple, his dam is a half sister to the champion sire Western Hanover. This is an outstanding siring family with no less than eight sires of $100,000 winners in his first four dams. Intriguingly, he carries a 4 x 2 cross to the outstanding broodmare Wendymae Hanover. His fee is set at NZ$6,000 (plus GST) in New Zealand and AUS$6,000 (incl GST) in Australia. In a win for breeders he will be included in both the Nevele R and Alabar multiple mare discount schemes. Courtesy of Alabar Stud

Throughout Elsu’s siring career, Alabar NZ’s Graeme Henley has been his staunchest supporter.   It is very fitting that he, along with his wife Suzanne, is the breeder of Elsu’s first Group One winner – Chilli Palmer, the ultra impressive winner of the McInerney Ford 4yo Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   That Chilli Palmer was bred at all is something of a miracle.   Fake Spirit was an outstanding filly winning the 2003 Great Northern and NSW Oaks double. Her owner, Robert Famularo discussed with Alan Galloway the possibility of doing an embryo transfer on Fake Spirit. They agreed to do it in partnership with Pacific Rocket the chosen stallion.   Make It Hot was the resulting foal and in due course she was entered for the 2006 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale.   She was however diagnosed as a wobbler and withdrawn from the sale. The decision was made that it was best that she should be put down.   Graeme Henley takes up the story …   “I didn’t have the heart to put her down – she was after all doing well and coping fine when not hassled.   “A couple of years later, I confided to Alan and Robert that Make It Hot hadn’t been put down and that she was doing that well that she would be worth trying to breed from.   “They both said I could have her if I wanted to try. She lost her first foal by Grin and Chilli Palmer was the second attempt. She’s had a foal every year since.    “It’s a great thrill to breed a Group One winner – especially one by Elsu – and out of a mare that really should’ve have been alive.”   Chilli Palmer was pin-hooked as a weanling for $4,000 by Ken and Anne-Marie Spicer who sold him at the NZ Premier Yearling Sale to Terry Chmiel for $13,000. Terry qualified him as an early 3yo and sold him to the Dean Braun stable after impressively winning a maiden trial at Addington. A Video of Chilli Palmer winning the $125,000 4yo Classic at Perth is attached. Courtesy of Alabar website

Alan Galloway and Graeme Henley of Alabar are pleased to report that Alabar sires will serve a near record number of mares this season. “Between New Zealand and Australia , Alabar will breed over 3000 mares this season,” reports Galloway. New Zealand’s Graeme Henley is also very pleased with how this breeding season is going. “It has been a very good year,” said Henley. “We are well up on last year, that is for sure,” he added. Henley said that newcomers Auckland Reactor and Majestic Son had proven hugely popular, which had added greatly to their numbers this season. “Shadow Play, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three and Art Major also have full books,” he enthused. This is great news for not only Alabar but the entire industry, as the last few seasons have raised huge concerns over the lack of foals being bred in New Zealand. “I am not saying everything is rosy again, but it certainly is looking up,” stressed Henley. “We have had a lot of feedback from other studs saying they are also having a good season, so it is not just us,” he added. Henley said that he couldn’t point to anything in particular that has caused the rise in breeding numbers. “I think it comes down to a range of things really. Both the Auckland Trotting Club and Addington (NZ Metropolitan) are making plenty of positive moves at the moment, so as long as they keep heading in the right direction so will the breeding numbers,” he concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

The final installment of HRTV's Spring Feature suggests it's a longshot that New Zealand Harness Racing will be a viable industry 10 years from now,. Unless it learns from the international contraction underway in the northern hemisphere.   "New Zealand's in danger of ending up where Canada is now if it doesn't get a business structure going quickly" says John Curtin.   "No one said it was easy out there but the breeders are doing their bit as best we can" according to Alabar NZ's Graeme Henley.   How does New Zealand Harness Racing start 'meeting the market' in time to stop it going bust?   Sheldon Murtha

If I'm a 'player' in the standardbred breeding 'game', I'm up for a small fortune at high risk before there's any prospect of financial return.   That's been the 'equation' for years,but in these testing times for harness racing worldwide. HRTV asks does that have to change for the contraction of the sport to start easing?   Is harness racing at a point where relying on long term market strategy and forces isn't going to save it but tip it over the edge?   Is there a 'save' strategy and does it start with breeding costs and keeping close to home?   John Curtin and Alabar NZ's Graeme Henley in Part two of HRTV's 'Meeting the Market' spring feature.

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