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Nevele R Stud’s grand elder statesman Live Or Die has been retired from stud duties and will not be available this coming harness racing breeding season. Despite being perennially under-rated in many quarters, the rising 25-year-old has been a tremendously successful sire for the stud over the years and has achieved far more than many of his higher priced, dual hemisphere rivals. The former world champion 2-year-old was popular with breeders from the outset, serving 100 plus mares for 13 consecutive seasons from 1997 on, peaking at an incredible 435 mares in New Zealand alone in the 2002 season. He was New Zealand’s leading first season sire in 2001 - with that initial foal crop featuring both the champion filly Elect To Live, the 2YO and 3YO Pacing Filly of her Year, as well as New Zealand’s Harness Horse of the Year at three years of age, and the dual NZ Cup winner and 4YO and Aged Pacer of the Year Just An Excuse. Other stand out pacers by him over the years included the likes of the Australian bred four-time Derby and Miracle Mile winner Divisive, the tough as teak Hunter Cup winner Bondy, the multiple Australian Oaks winner Dance Of Life, the Australian 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year Scandalman and the $500,000 plus earning Grand Circuit winners Power Of Tara and Bold Cruiser. In an era dominated by Christian Cullen, Live Or Die was NZ’s leading pacing sire in 2007 and runner-up a further three times. He also went close to being Australia’s leading sire in the 2009/10 season, finishing a close second to Village Jasper that year. He is just the second NZ based sire, after another Nevele R stalwart, Holmes Hanover, to sire 1000 individual winners and to date he is the sire of more than 1230 winners and has progeny earnings of over $60 million. All up Live Or Die is the sire of 18 individual Group 1 winners, including six Grand Circuit winners, eight individual Derby champions and three millionaires. Although retired, Live Or Die’s influence on the Australasian breeding and racing industry will continue to be felt for many years to come with his daughters having already produced close to 20 Group 1 winners to date including the triple NZ Cup winner Terror To Love, the Harness Jewels winners Major Mark, Lizzie Maguire, Elusive Chick and Gotta Go Harmony, the champion WA mare Libertybelle Midfrew and last season’s Australian 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year Rocknroll Magic. One of Australia’s best 3-year-old fillies this season, Shartin, the recent winner of the Queensland Oaks, is also out of a Live Or Die mare. Live Or Die will spend his much deserved retirement at Nevele R Stud’s Canterbury farm. Harnesslink Media

Simple Saver (Leon Bailey) takes the harness racing fillies and mares feature ($4600) at Vernon Downs Friday night (May 26). Love You Bye (Jimmy Wittermore) charged out of the gate and set the early fractions. Simple Saver ($10.40) a 9 year-old Live Or Die mare, went first over from fourth at the halfway mark. After three-quarters, the mare owned by Michael Annunziata and trained by Elizabeth Carutenuto would blow right by Love You Bye to score in 1:53.4. Major Millie (John MacDonald) came on late to take second. Love You Bye would hang on for third. Vernon Downs returns to racing tomorrow (May 27) with a post time of 6:45pm. For more information go to www.vernondowms .com John Horne for Vernon Downs

Ancient Moonlight is lucky to be alive let alone winning races. The Juanita McKenzie-trained gelded son of Live or Die dodged death about a year ago but thanks to luck being on his side and some tender loving care from his owners and trainer the harness racing gelding looks set to realise the potential he showed when he first arrived in Tasmania. Ancient Moonlight was having his first start for a year when he came from last turning for home to score a runaway victory in the Talbot Hotel Pace for C3-C4 performers over 2090m metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. One of his part-owners Barry Cooper said the gelding virtually died on the operating table but somehow managed to survive the ordeal. "The horse's heart stopped and he was gone but he is a fighter and came back to us and here he is winning at his first start since the ordeal. It's quite amazing," an motional Cooper said after the win. Duggan was full of praise for the gelding that was purchased for an undisclosed sum in New Zealand as a four-year-old. He had only three starts in Tasmania as a four-year-old winning two after a debut second. The gelding resumed as a five-year-old with a win at Carrick in a heat of the Northern Tasmanian Light Harness Association Cup but he suffered an injury in the final and that was his last start before emerging triumphant last night. Duggan said the horse is bound for bigger and better things. "To come from where he was tonight and win is an amazing effort and I'm sure there are plenty more wins in store for him," Duggan said. Peter Staples

Talented harness racing pacer El Jay's Mystery ended her two-year-old season on a high with an impressive win in the Carlton Draught 2YO over 1680 metres at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last night. El Jay's Mystery was eased out of the early speed battle from her outside front-row draw to settle near last and she was then was asked by driver Ricky Duggan to make a sweeping run from the 600-metre peg. She delivered the desired result in style to score fill of running to defeat Master Leon and Eternal; Speed with race leader Dromana Beach fading to finish fifth. It made it two wins in succession for the daughter of Live or Die prompting her trainer Dick Eaves to suggest she has the potential to be a star three-year-old. "I have no doubt this filly will derive a lot of benefit from what she's done this season and if I'm right she could be a top three-year-old next season," eaves said. "She's had a few issues that we've had to iron out but her past two starts have been really good, especially this one because she had to come from last and go through another bit of a learning curve in the race. "She's still coming to terms with settling in her races and tonight she resented being eased out of the contest early but she did settle and when Ricky (Duggan) asked for the big effort in the straight she didn't let him down." El Jay's Mystery is expected to spend a couple of months in the paddock spelling on some spring grass. Peter Staples

Harness Racing aficionados will be licking their lips at the thought of next Saturday night’s four-year-old entires and geldings’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final after tonight’s semis and barrier draw. Heat winners Ideal For Real and Tee Cee Bee Macray have drawn five and 13 respectively, while reigning Vicbred champ and horse of the year Menin Gate, a fierce warrior when in front, has drawn well in barrier three. Murranji Track in gate two has good gate speed and can run along also, so he will surely create headaches for speed mappers. Tee Cee Bee Macray was ultra-impressive in winning his heat tonight, and while barrier 13 is never ideal, he does his best work when winding up with a big finish. Trained by Alan Tubbs, Tee Cee Bee Macray (Ponder/Way Mya Macray) sprinted powerfully through the final 400m to overhaul pacemaker Solarsonic in the run to the line. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tee Cee Bee Macray rated 1:56.9. “There’s a lot of depth in the (four-year-old) field … but he’s very fast,” Sugars said. “He’s a very good horse.” The win clearly meant plenty for the Tubbs team, who received plenty of congratulations trackside. Ideal For Real (American Ideal/Tamara Hall) was also super-impressive, the Emma Stewart-trained star winning its 10th race from 18 starts with a 1:56.2 run to score by 14.2m over runner-up Sevens Hope with Mister Wickham third. Despite the ease of the win and the high expectations being placed on Ideal For Real, Lang said the entire still had a bit to learn. “He’s got to learn to go straight or he’ll have to cover more ground than the others … he’ll get beat doing that,” he said. “He’s got a good record but it won’t be an easy race next week.” The continued dominance of the Emma Stewart stable was on full display in the four-year-old mares’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals tonight. The Smythes Creek trainer qualified five mares for next Saturday night’s final, giving her almost half the field. Stewart-trained Starburst Girl (barrier two for the final), Brighty Valentine (three), Lovelist (seven), Delight Me (nine) and Stay And Play (11) will all line up in the big dance. Delight Me (Bettor's Delight/Cornsilk) impressively won her semi-final with Gavin Lang in the sulky, defeating stablemates Lovelist and Starburst Girl in the first semi-final, working wide in the run before finding the line strongly. Stay And Play (Live Or Die/Play Ball) posted a mile rate of 1:56.2 in her 8.3m win over Snip Of Grand in the second semi-final, with third placegetter Brighty Valentine also hailing from the Stewart stable.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Mares Final barrier draw 1: Diamond Castle 2: Starburst Girl 3: Brighty Valentine 4: Soho Tokyo 5: Boadiceas Fury 6: Snip Of Grand 7: Lovelist 8: Glory Daze 9: Delight Me 10: Morton Plains 11: Stay And Play 12: Keayang Mercedes (em) 13: Miss Dreaming Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Entires & Geldings Final barrier draw 1: Repeat After Me 2: Murranji Track 3: Menin Gate 4: Sevens Hope 5: Ideal For Real 6: Lucky Lombo 7: Mister Wickham 8: Solarsonic 9: Stagger Lee 10: Soynwasabi 11: Rule Of Thumb (em) 12: Blacknbrown 13: Tee Cee Bee Macray ............................................................................................................................................................................... Tingira Beach has emerged a frontrunner in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series' two-year-old colts and geldings for New South Wales team Shane and Lauren Tritton, dominating his semi-final and drawing well. Things only got better for the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Western Tingira after he won his class's second semi-final by 12.9m, having then drawn barrier four in the final. Conversely, fellow semi-final winner Jilliby Kung Fu will start from barrier 12 and will have to do things the hard way in the final on Saturday, July 2. Lauren Tritton, driver of Tingira Beach, warned there was more improvement to come from her colt, who found the front and comfortably beat highly-fancied Victorians Our Little General and Wrappers Delight into second and third place. “(Tingira Beach) is still really green, he still had a look around, but tonight he raced a lot better," Tritton said post-win. "He still had a good look around in the race and was on and off the bit. Next week he might run a bit better and could get the best of them." Tritton said Tingira Beach's favourable draw, albeit with Geoff Webster's Wrappers Delight inside her, would not be a huge factor. “He’s very versatile and the barrier doesn’t really mean much too him," Tritton said. "He hasn’t got that much gate speed in him, it’s always good to draw a good barrier but that’s not much of a worry.” It could be a worry for Jilliby Kung Fu, though the talented Terang colt is only too happy to run them down from behind. In his semi-final, Jilliby Kung Fu found the front and, though he “gets a bit lonely out there on his own”, according to driver Jason Lee, he had enough of a buffer to win by 2.5m from Geoff Webster’s fast-finishing Misterfreeze. The two-year-old colt by Four Starzzz Shark out of Slip Slop Slap, trained at Terang by Marg Lee, produced a fifth win in 10 starts when from barrier 10 he looped the field to find the front. “I think he’s a better chaser and I probably got a bit of itchy feet and thought I should jump around to the front, but he didn’t really want to go on with the job,” Jason Lee said. “He had a little bit left in the tank.” Misterfreeze kept him close company at Tabcorp Park Melton in the semi-finals and Somebeachshadow, trained by Craig Demmler and driven by Jodi Quinlan, surprised with a third placing having started a $59 shot.   Barrier draws: Two-year-old colts and geldings pacers 1: Wrappers Delight 2: Ruthless Armbro 3: Misterfreeze 4: Tingira Beach 5: Form Analyst (emg) 6: Island Specialmajor 7: Canada Bay 8: Our Little General 9: Bundy Playboy 10: Albarock 11: Somebeachshadow 12: Jilliby Kung Fu 13: Classic Maker (ODM) Cody Winnell & Michael Howard

Franco Saxon. Add him to your 'Race Tracker' and remember the name, because the way the Jonny Cox-trained runner won his maiden at Addington Raceway last Friday night was spectacular and certainly won't be his last time visiting the winner's circle.                             Owned by the recently-launched goHarness 'Staxofun' Syndicate, the performance from the 3yo Live Or Die gelding even impressed commentator Mark McNamara. "There's a debut win," said McNamara as Franco Saxon crossed the line to win by a half-head over West Point (Ken Barron), with a length back to Junior (David & Catherine Butt) in third. Starting from barrier 9 in the 1950m mobile, Franco Saxon was always going to have to do plenty of work to win - and that's exactly what he did. Away well, Cox soon had him marching forward to find the parked spot. With the three-wide train still coming, Cox was determined to keep the parked spot for the remaining 800 metres. "It was a tricky draw to work with, but we got a good drag up behind Sam (Ottley) to land outside the leader," said Jonny. "He turned up in great condition from previous trainer Steven McRae and trialled nicely at Ashburton when he won. He's a nice horse, but that performance showed us he has got the ability to go through the grades." Despite being under pressure and looking gone at the 400m point, Franco Saxon showed great tenacity to rally past the leader Dancinginthedark and hit the front. With the heavily-backed West Point and Blair Orange darting up the lane, it appeared as if the goHarness team would have to settle for a brave second but 'Sax' had other ideas and stuck his head out to grab the victory. "It's a dream start for the Staxofun Syndicate," said Co-Manager Johnny Robinson. "We've had a lot of members of our previous syndicates coming into Saxon, as well as another large group of first-time owners - which is not only great for us, but it promotes harness racing for the fun that can be had for very little outlay."" Robinson said there are still shares available in this latest syndicate launched by goHarness, priced at $730 each which is the equivalent of just a dollar a day. "The one-off fee gets you a share in Franco Saxon for two whole years, with no other payments needed, and if the horse is still performing well enough at the end of our two years with him there's also the possibility of the syndicate being extended. "He's a decent-sized fella, and we expect him to improve with more racing and as he grows into his frame," Robinson added. Friday's win by Franco Saxon was the first for Cox since he began training from his new base at Fred & Joy Morris's Yaldhurst property, called Yaldy Farm. "It's a wonderful property, with great paddocks and boxes as well as a nice track. They also have a pool, which is a great asset for the training programmes of some of my horses," Cox said. Shifting north from Dunedin 18 months ago, Cox originally worked for Ken Barron before switching to the Michael House stable in the mornings while doing his own team in the afternoons. "It was time to branch out and concentrate on having a team of my own. I've got eight in work at the moment and there's room for a few more," Cox said. Cox trained 52 winners in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons when in partnership with Amber Hoffman at Westwood Beach, just out of Dunedin. The pair trained Jaccka Justy to win the 2014 Dominion Handicap, providing Cox with his biggest training and driving success to date. An accomplished driver, Jonny is currently on 460 career victories and has saluted the judge on 28 occasions so far this season, while he has trained 26 winners from just the 282 starters on his own. Cox was also a dual winner of the Junior Drivers' Premiership in 2005 and 2006. Andrew Fitzgerald                

Tonight’s harness racing meeting at Addington Raceway sees Noel Kennard’s "GoHarness" syndication brand unveil a new Syndicate. The GoHarness team have been a revelation to the industry and currently have four different syndicates up and running, and pride themselves on the fact that every horse they have taken to the races has been successful on at least one occasion. That record doesn't look like disappearing anytime soon with their latest syndication horse Franco Saxon set to debut in race 2 at Addington tonight. Purchased off Spreydon Lodge several weeks ago, the 3yo Live Or Die gelding was a handy recent trial winner at Ashburton for trainer/driver Jonny Cox. "I have plenty of time for him, he's a lovely relaxed horse and he pleased me with his trial. He arrived in wonderful condition from Steven McRae (Spreydon Lodge) so we've just had to keep him ticking over" said Jonny. "The draw isn't a great help, especially over 1950m but if the luck goes our way I wouldn't be surprised if he won" Franco Saxon is owned by the "Staxofun syndicate" and there are still shares available. Astro Boy also resumes for GoHarness and Cox at Rangiora on Sunday. "He came to the end of it last time, so we spelled him and he has come back really well. He's had a couple of workouts and trials to get ready for this, he actually missed away at the trials the other day but usually he's a good beginner. From the front line he should get a nice enough trip and be thereabouts" said Cox. Astro Boy races for the “Double The Fun” Syndicate who also raced Western Art who unfortunately picked up a career ending injury. At his best Western Art was a handy winner of the Nelson Cup at the club’s early January meeting. Another recently set up was the “Buy, Race and Sell” Syndicate. Involving 50 shares with just the one lump sum payment, which the GoHarness name have become well known for, the Syndicate looks to win a few races with each horse first before hopefully flicking them on for a tidy profit. All horses for the Buy, Race and Sell syndicate are trained by Ken Barron. Barron currently has Order Online and Regal Grin in work for the GoHarness team. Order Online was a handy maiden winner at the start of the month and provided an instant return for Syndicate members after only having purchased the 3yo Washington VC gelding off Clark Barron a few weeks earlier. Regal Grin finished 2nd at the trials last week and the son of Grinfromeartoear is defiantly one to look out for over the next few weeks. Andrew Fitzgerald

The last time popular Canterbury trainer/driver Jim Curtin ventured north to the mighty Manawatu Raceway was back in February of 2015. He picked up a driving/training win with The Persuader, while he also saluted the judge with Miss Middleton for Palmerston North trainer Stephen Doody.   Curtin travels north with 1 stable runner Atchoo and while she has drawn badly she doesn’t appear the worst chance. “We had to come north to find a suitable race for her; she’s not too good from the tapes. I thought she would be a good chance but it’s a hard draw so we are hoping for some luck” said Jim. Interestingly enough, Curtin has driven 7 trebles at the Manawatu track, and he is a regular to salute the judge. “7 trebles are pretty nice but I’ve had some luck on the track and hopefully it continues” Jim also had a further 6 drives and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him salute the judge with any of them. Jim Curtin & The Persuader winning at Manawatu back in February 2015. Robert & John Dunn travel north with a strong team of 4 runners, which includes last start Forbury winner The Royal Garden and while the son of Mach Three climbs a grade for this assignment he slots in well and looks mighty tough to beat. While earlier on in the night Mr Meddle, a 5yo Live Or Die gelding comes up with the plum draw, and looks the likely leader in an even C2 field. He was only beaten 2.5l by Beyond Belief, which has since ran 2nd in a hard race. That form should make Mr Meddle a leading chance on both days of the meeting The Royal Garden's last start win Andrew Fitzgerald

It’s been just over nine years since David Broadhurst drove his last winner, but at Blenheim on Sunday the 69-year-old trained, drove, owned, and bred Patrick Bee to victory. “He’s a promising horse and I think he will win a few more. It was a great feeling to be saluting the judge again,” the Kaikoura horsemen said. It was Patrick Bee’s first win in 28 starts. He’s also placed 12 times. His three-quarter length victory comes 3,416 days after  Broadhurst drove Patrick Jay to win at Nelson. It was the January 12, 2007 and he was a $9.40 third favourite. Patrick Bee, who is no relation, was the $4 second favourite after finishing fourth when favourite on the first day. “He’s the second of three foals left by Ima Showoff. She died when giving birth to a Sands A Flyin foal in 2012. She was a cantankerous, dirty ole thing who didn’t win a race but did go two minutes. “I was given her for free when I was working for Inter Island Transport. She was from the Vin Devery breed. He’s actually very well bred. His line goes back to the Tactics family, which includes some good ones like Tactile, Noodlum, and Blacks A Fake,” Broadhurst said. He said he was just rapt to have Patrick Bee back racing again. “I’m very proud where he’s at considering he broke a pastern. He only started racing as a late 5-year-old. In think I’ll target the two-day Nelson meeting with him next month,” Broadhurst said. The Kaikoura horseman said he was introduced to harness racing by his next door neighbour Heber Henson back in the 1950s. He was also on the New Zealand Trotting Conference back in the day. “He had the two-time world trotting champion Rip Cord. He gave me my first drive behind a horse and I became hooked.  “I’ve been involved a long time. The first winner I owned and drove was Patrick Sean in the Kaikoura Trot back in 1970. I love the game and have a couple of others coming through. “I’ve got a 5-year-old Armbro Invasion mare named Schoolhouse Road and she is a work in progress. I’ve also got a 3-year-old Bettor’s Delight filly named Donegal Carrickfin. “I named her after the place where my family are from in Northern Ireland. She is out of a sister to Lyell Creek. I qualified her at Blenheim on April 23 when she won by four lengths,” Broadhurst said. Broadhurst has now driven seven winners since 1978 and trained a further six more since 1981. Patrick Bee won Sunday’s $7,000 Royal Hotel 2400m mobile on the Waterlea grass in 3:17.7 (mile rate 2;12.6) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 60.1 and 28.3. Courtesy of Duane Ranger

Woodend based trainer and advanced amateur driver Miranda Hallett had 3x the number of reasons to celebrate last night after she was successful behind Tufflittlerooster. Not only did Hallett train and drive the 5yo Live Or Die gelding she also lease’s him. Drawn nicely in barrier 3, Miranda quickly had her charge in front where she was able to rate her drive to absolute perfection. While amateur racing is widely known to be run at fast speeds, Tufflittlerooster was able to get away with cheap sectionals thanks to the unusual lack of attackers. Striding down the back in 29.5, Tufflittlerooster always looked to have plenty in the bag winning by a nose over Red River Lochee (John McDermott) with ½ neck back to Cimarron (Wayne Low) in 3rd. The overall time of 3:16.6 and mile rate of 2:01.6 further kicked home how well the winner was rated by Hallett and the fight shown by the well named Tufflittlerooster should see these two visit the winners circle again. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Sunny Ruby and Sam Smolenski continue their path towards the Cambridge Jewels with a handy win in last night’s feature trot. Kept away from the Rowe Cup, Smolenski has kept his star mare ticking along down south. Known for her incredible high speed, Sunny Ruby looks the main danger to superstar trotter Monbet at the Jewels and is likely to start 2nd favourite. A comfortable winner by 1 ¼ lengths last night in a handy field, the 4yo Sundon mare cut out her last 800m in 58.2 with the last 400 in a slick 27.8. While from her 40m back mark she trotted the overall 2600m trip in 3.18. Le Lievre’s Gift finished runner up for trainer/driver Jim Curtin, with a further 5 ¾ lengths to Arran Chief in 3rd place for another trainer/driver Andrew Faulks. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Ray Green caused one of the upsets of the night when his smart 2yo Art Major colt Vasari won heat 3 of the Garrards Sire Stakes Series no33. Driven aggressively by David Butcher from a wide barrier draw, Vasari found himself in front after 400m and Butcher was able to dictate as he does best. With Mark Purdon launching More The Better around the field to find the parked spot at the 1000m, these two talented colts went to war, cutting out the last quarter in 26.7. Butcher was at his absolute best, stealing a cheap 31.2 quarter between the 800 and 400 which ultimately set up his 26.7 quarter and the winning of the race, being able to hold More The Better out by a head. Mongolian Storm finished 3rd beaten 2 ¼ lengths with a further ¾ lengths back to the 4th placed Pacing Major. Paying $10.10 and $2.30 on the tote, Vasari got value punters off to a great start and with Golden Goddess causing the major upset of the night, punters who love to stay away from the short prized favourites would have been laughing to themselves. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Golden Goddess and Michelle Neilson provided the most unexpected upset when they won heat 7 of the Nevele R Fillies Series by 3 lengths. While not a surprise to see an All Stars runner winning by such a large margin, it was the fact that the 3yo Art Major filly, owned by Merv and Meg Butterworth beat previously unbeaten and highly talented Dream About Me. Sent forward by Neilson, Golden Goddess was another allowed to dictate in front and with sectionals of 56 and 25.9, she was never in doubt. While beaten into 2nd and never looking likely, Dream About Me would have lost no admirers considering she was first up for 8 weeks and likely to improve off the back of a sharp 1950m event cut out in 2:22.4, with the last mile recorded in 1:57.4. The next up assignment for both fillies and Vic Oaks winner Piccadilly Princess is the Nevele R Fillies Series Final on the 14th May. These 3 smart fillies are set to clash 3 times over the following 5 weeks. There doesn’t appear to be much between the fillies with draws likely to dictate the result. Andrew Fitzgerald

He has a bit of growing to do and that's what the connections of two year old winner The Honey Badger plan to let him do after his gutsy win at the harness racing meeting at Winton Raceway yesterday.   From the outside draw driver Dexter Dunn nursed the big Somebeachsomewhere gelding into the first bend with Jayedgar holding an early lead. With 1200 metres to run, The Honey Badger cruised to the top. Just when stablemate Jody Direen and Jayedgar looked to be getting the better of The Honey Badger, Dunn lifted the gelding and he came back to win by a head from Jayedgar with another head back to Jody Direen. The Honey Badger was bred by Paul Hailes who races the gelding with friend Cane McIntyre.  He's out of the five win Live Or Die mare Glenburn Jewel.    "I sent away to Aussie to Do You Love Your Broodmare (website)." "They did the match (for Glenburn Jewel) and came back with Somebeachsomewhere being the top stallion," said Hailes.   It's the mare's second winner as his older sister Glenburn Joy won her maiden race at Wyndham last month.     "He's a big solid boy and doesn't look like a natural two year old."   The winning time yesterday was 1-57.9 with the last 800 metres in 56.8 and the 400 in 26.3.    Hailes says The Honey Badger will now have a good break and be left to mature into his big frame.   "He was supposed to have been turned out after last weekend." "Since this race was on, we thought we would nominate and see what the field looked like so the win is a bonus really," Halles said."  Bruce Stewart   -   Southland Harness Racing   -  Check site here P>

Harness racing is full of stories of owners persevering with a breed for many years with average luck only for their luck to turn and the winners to pour fourth at a great rate. Such is the story of John and Rebecca Mooney of West Melton near Christchurch. They inherited a couple of mares from Rebecca's late father, but initially success was hard to come by. Their first sign of their luck changing was the emergence of the smart Live Or Die mare Lucinda Midfrew 1:56.9 ($52,599) From the time she went to stud, the winners started to pour in, with her fifth foal the undoubted star of the tribe in the outstanding racemare Libertybelle Midfrew 1:53.9 ($566,547) who has been a star from the time she stepped on a track as two year old. A big six figure offer as an early three year old was too good to turn down and shortly after Libertybelle Midfrew was on her way to Perth. A half sister in Lulli Midfrew 1:56.8 won six in New Zealand and has joined the Mooney's broodmare band as has the race winning Mach Three mare Lucasta Midfrew whose first foal was the very smart Eyre Crusher 1:56.5 ($94,123) who ran second in the West Australian Derby. A full sister to Libertybelle Midfrew that the Mooney's raced was Lulabelle Midfrew (5 wins) ($46,047) and her first foal was kept inhouse after failing to meet her reserve at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale. Named Luisanabelle Midfrew, she has looked high class from her first start at two with the highlight last season being a game second behind the champion filly Dream About Me in the $138,000 Sires Stakes Championship. Her run in the Harness Jewels was a poor run by her standards and a veterinary examination resulted in Luisanabelle Midfrew having a soft palate operation in the off season. Worst was to follow soon after in July. " We nearly lost her when she had a Colitis attack." " It was touch and go for a while, but thankfully she pulled through," John Mooney told Harnesslink yesterday. The problem now was she was getting well behind in her prep for her main early season aim, the PGG Sales Race in February.  " We only put her in at Ashburton on Boxing Day to try to play a bit of catch up." " She was fit enough but instead of a trial, Nigel thought a race would be better for her. " We were thrilled that she only went under by a head in 1:54.7 and she came through that run great," John said. Yesterday at Rangiora, Liisanabelle Midfrew added to her impressive record when she toyed with a field of mares in the slushy conditions. Luisanabelle Midfrew Driver Matthew Williamson is thrilled to be back on board Luisanabelle Midfrew this season. " She is a beautiful filly to drive and she won that race yesterday with ease." " She proved that she was up with the best at two and I think she has come back even better." "I think she could be in for a big season," Matthew said. The $150,000 PGG 3 year old fillies pace on February 12th at Addington is the main aim early on and with most of the topliners not eligible, Luisanabelle Midfrew will be hard to beat. " There are still plenty of handy fillies eligible and Killer Queen looks the one we all have to beat." " I think the draw will be critical in this race," John said. February will be a busy time for John and Rebecca as they have a half brother to Luisanabelle Midfrew for sale on the first day of the New Zealand Premier Sale on February 23rd. " He is a Bettor's Delight colt and without getting carried away, he is the best put together yearling that Rebecca and I have bred." " He is just an absolute standout and we are excited to be be the vendors of such a great type of yearling," John said. Just fifteen years ago, this family that the Mooney's inherited was at best a good bread and butter family. Now it is leaving Classic horses all over the place and the future looks very bright. What a difference a few years can make.  Harnesslink Media

Harness racing driver Todd McCarthy has long been noted for his ability to get horses off the gate quickly, and in his recent visits to Group One Feeds Paceway, he's put that to good use by handing up to take advantage of Bathurst's sprint lane. Two of his three winners at last Wednesday's all-sprint meeting, both for in-form trainer Ashlee Grives, came in this manner. Limitation NZ ($15.10, in C2-C4 grade) got up in the last stride of a very busy finish, over Mattjestic Star and leader Inception NZ, with favourite Cruisinonthe Big Ern, which eventually finished fourth, also labelled the winner at one stage in the straight. It was just the third career win, in 74 starts, but the second in succession, for the Live Or Die daughter who has reached a new peak of form at age seven. "I was happy to hand up on her, and take my chances. On the home bend I was hopeful, rather than confident, which was pretty much the same feeling I had about the photo finish," McCarthy commented when his number came up. The combination scored their second win of the night in the final event, for three-year-olds, when Summer Money ($4.00) showed a brilliant turn of foot to scoot along the sprint lane for an impressive win over Taylah Studleigh, which had death-seated throughout.  It was a maiden win for the well named Million Dollar Cam youngster, at his ninth start, but indicative of further success in coming starts. Todd's third winner, for Sydney trainer Wayne Dimech in a C3 conditioned class, was Merrywood Duke, and after enjoying a one-one trail throughout, the $2.30 favourite outsprinted Abbey Cullen and leader Puffnstuff, with a smart last half of 56.5 responsible for the 1:55.7 mile rate. This was mid-range in the night's speed catalogue, with three sub- 1:55 runs, a further three below 1:58.0, and a 1:58.4 victory - which would have drawn rave reviews on the old Bathurst track - the slowest of the meeting. Emma Turnbull, one of the contenders for Bathurst driving honours this season, took out the fastest and the slowest, with De Santa Anna and Skirmish. De Santa Anna ($3.30, for Steve Conroy) staged a thrilling battle the entire length of the home straight with favourite Mister Jogalong in the C1 opening race, with just a neck separating them at the finish and the chasing pack some thirty metres astern. The mile rate of 1:54.8 set the standard for the night, as did the 27.5 final quarter. The performance of both the winner and runner-up drew plenty of praise from seasoned observers. Both four year olds are top class, and the future clashes between them as they work through the grades will be awaited with real anticipation. Skirmish NZ ($2.60 favourite, Peter Bullock) might have rated the slowest time but, ironically, his win from inside the second line in a C0 class, was as tough and meritorious as any at the meeting. Emma Turnbull was intent on getting him away from the markers as soon as she was able, and he was forced to work hard around the field to the death seat, during a first half in 59 seconds. He applied plenty of pressure to leader Time To Share Lombo down the back, forged to the front on the bend and showed true grit in fighting off his challengers for the win, his fourth in five starts. Other winners at the meeting included: Star Singer ($8.20) , in the second of the C1 events, Nathan Hurst earning a " drive of the night " award for his mid-race sprint which took his opponents by surprise, and himself to the lead, and eventual victory; So Kool Harry ($12.40, Steve/ Nathan Turnbull), enjoying a nice trail behind race favourite Yayas Hot Spot before pulling out a big sprint to take out the fast class, with a last half in 56.8 , and edging ever closer to the coveted $200,000 in earnings; Sonny Studleigh ($4.10, Leigh/ Jake Davis) , working clear into a three-wide trail up the back, and finishing off strongly to win a C0 grade, to remain the "cream of the crop" for the dairy farmers from Browns Creek. Greg Hayes

When talented Tasmanian harness racing trainer Marc Butler was offered the chance to take over the training of a well-performed four-year-old he jumped at the chance. The horse in question was Franco Sheffield, a New Zealand-bred pacer owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have been a formidable combination and a force in Tasmania's owner ranks for many years. At UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night Franco Sheffield proved he still has a lot to give and Butler, while not becoming overawed by his effort to win a C4-C5 by almost 19 metres, was quick to admit the gelding could be his next "good horse". Butler owned and trained Joesashyguy that won him a Tasmanian Derby and was still delivering stellar performances beyond his use-by date but for the time being this gelded son of Live Or Die has the potential to put Butler, a boutique trainer these days, back in the harness racing spotlight. On Sunday night Franco Sheffield showed good gate speed to lead from barrier four and once in front, driver Ricky Duggan had a battle to hold hm. "When he led he wanted to get on with the job pretty much from the outset but he eventually came back to me," Duggan said. "Entering the back straight the last time he kept tugging so when I let him go he just powered away and went on to win as he liked and I never had to pull the plugs," he said. Franco Sheffield hit the line 18-1/2 metres clear of Punt Road Disco with Sky Tower just over a metre away third. He clocked a mile rate of two minutes and small change but ran home his last half mile (800m) in a slick 56.2 seconds which is outstanding on the Hobart circuit at the moment. The five-year-old was having only his third start for Butler who acquired the gelding from Juanita McKenzie who had to find room for a few new horses and Franco Sheffield was one that was selected to be rehomed. "He has been with me for about six months and this was only his third start for me and from what he showed there should be more wins in him that's for sure," Butler said. "He doesn't do much wrong - he's pretty much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of horse." "He is going to have to improve because he is getting up in grade but I am quietly confident he can deliver," he said. Peter Staples

It didn’t take long to realise harness racing trainer Brent Lilley might be in for a good night at Tabcorp Park Melton. But not many could have predicted just how well the script would play out for the Bolinda horseman, who walked away from tonight's Trotters Oaks meeting with five wins – including the two feature races. It all began with five-year-old Live Or Die/Trustee Mota gelding Crusader Acey, who showed his last-start win at Shepparton was no fluke with victory in the DNR Logistics Pace over 1720m to open the program. From barrier seven reinsman Anthony Butt produced a carbon copy of his steer aboard Hollywood Sign last month when it won the Rising Stars Final, driving Crusader Acey across the field early to find the pegs before handing up to the favourite, Macho Comacho. Crusader Acey out-sprinted Macho Comacho late along the sprint lane to win by a neck in a mile rate of 1:54.1. Lilley notched a winning double in the fourth race with five-year-old Monarchy/Sun Mist mare Rosemma. The foolproof trotter dashed to the lead early from barrier five for Rodney Petroff, while stablemate and race favourite Kyvalley Pink blew its chances by galloping away. Rosemma rated 2:00.7 to hold off a fast-finishing Mister Independent by 1.1m in the Garrards Horse and Hount Trot. Lilley and Butt then snared Race 7, the Pace ,with impressive gelding Lets Elope (by Real Desire out of Alta Vista), finding the lead from barrier two before staving off all comers at the finish. Lets Elope carved out splits of 30.4secs, 29.8secs, 28.5secs and 27.6secs, clocking a 1:56.4 mile rate. Punters backed Lilley and Butt in to do it again in Race 8, the night’s feature, the $60,505 Group 1 Noel Simpson Memorial Trotters Oaks. Favourite backers were grinning 2mins and 47secs after the mobile arms folded back, My Arya leading from start to finish to register a 3m win over Amarula with Little Miss Zigzag flashing home for third. The Angus Hall filly held out an early challenge from Fiery Mountain Girl to lead before getting away with a 61.3secs first half at the head of affairs. She upped the tempo down the back the last time and took the zing out of any chasers with a 28secs third quarter. Sprinting home in 29.8secs, My Arya never looked like being headed and has now won 10 of her 11 Australian starts. Her winning mile rate for tonight’s 2240m trip was 2:00.4. Lilley and Butt capped the night in Race 9 by taking out the Pryde’s Easifeed Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old trotters with Kyvalley Tinman. The son of Majestic Son/Kyvalley Kitty sat on the speed in the run before out-staying his rivals, quickly getting the better of early leader Calder Knight turning for home before seeing off a late charge by impressive filly Princess Phoenix for a 1.3m win in 2:04.2 for the 2240m journey. While Lilley made the headlines with five winners, Butt’s performance should be undersold, finishing with a metropolitan quartet of his own. In other results, Aldebaran Macha easily took out the Good Form Pace over 2240m for David and Josh Aiken, the son of Mach Three/Aldebaran Bromac too good for runner-up Hez The Wild Card in 1:56.2. Anton Golino and Todd McCarthy took out the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot with rising star Arboe, who held off Vics Cheval at the finish by 3.2m. Arboe, by Love You out of Lough Neagh, has now won five of six starts and has genuine star power. Arboe rated 1:59.0 over the 2240m, Claudys Princess finishing third beaten 13.2m by the winner. Bringing up a double for Todd McCarthy was Glenferrie Hood, a pacer making a name for himself in Victoria with two straight wins here. The son of Christian Cullen/Niftey Franco found the lead from gate seven early and ran along to record a mile rate of 1:53.7, defeating Sapphire Swayze by 3.6m with Im Barney Rubble third. Shes A Runa notched her 16th win at start No.27 by taking out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship Final for trainer Amanda Turnbull and driver Nathan Jack. The Jeremes Jet/Runacullen mare, a four-year-old, was 7.3m too strong for Gollahman, while in-form Ithappenstobeametro stuck on gamely for third. The winner’s mile rate was 1:55.5. Trainer Dean Braun looks to have another star on his hands in the form of Wardwell, who won tonight’s Pegasus Club 3YO Pace Final over 2240m. The gelding by Mach Three out of Ohappy Daze won by 7.4m over Starwyn Jasper with Brighty Valentine third in a rate of 1:59.0. Wardwell has now won three from three and bigger races look on his agenda moving forward. David Miles and his talented four-year-old Smokey Quartz capped the night with a gutsy success over Masterofthurles, that pair racing well clear of third placegetter Thunder Fee in the last race, the 2Construct Pace Final over 1720m. Smokey Quartz and Masterofthurles were involved in a speed war early, the latter eventually holding up and Smokey Quartz dropping to the leader’s back. From there Smokey Quartz eventually got out, rounded up the early pace setter and went on to score by 2.8m in a rate of 1:56.4. Smokey Quartz is a son of the great Courage Under Fire out of Pareen. View replays of all tonight's races and get full results by Cody Winnell

HARRINGTON, Del. - San Fran Lady N ($3.60, Ross Wolfenden) notched her eighth win of the season Tuesday with a 1:52.2 victory in the harness racing featured $12,500 Mares Open II at Harrington Raceway. San Fran Lady N, who prevailed last week in 1:53.1, set the pace from her rail post position with fractions of 27, 56.2 and 1:24.3 as Hit By Lightning pursued first over with Springforth sitting in the pocket throughout. In mid stretch Springforth battled San Fran Lady N and had a narrow lead in deep stretch before the latter resurged to prevail by a nose. Trained by Steve Leblanc, the Live Or Die mare is owned by Leblanc Racing, William Lutz Jr., and Count De Money Stable. For the second straight night, a driver took both halves of the daily double. On Monday night, it was Tony Morgan, this time it was Allan Davis, who piloted Outrageous Delight N ($13) and Driven by Destiny ($3.40) as part of a five win night for the 39-year-old driver. Victor Kirby had three wins on the program. Matthew Sparacino

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