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Today at Enghien the €80,000 Prix de Lure was the harness racing feature and a Pick5 wagering contest. 13 European starters went 2875 meters with the 1.14.6kr winner being 0.5/1 favorite Call Me Keeper (6m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) with Franck Nivard up for Daniel Reden training for Stall Zet. 23/1 Radieux (6g Love You-Dordogne) was second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini with 6/1 Auch (6g Niky-Migraine) third to the line for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Denmark’s Pingus Vang (9g SJ’s Photo-New Wonder) took the day’s Quinte + (€3.35million jackpot) at Enghien, the Prix de Sedan over 2150 meters autostart. 16 European eligibles were at the start. The winner scored in 1.15.6kr at 8/1 odds to defeat 22/1 Utelo de Carentone (8g Kiwi-Maeva d’Harcouel) and third finishing 9/1 Vivaldo Bello (7m Love You-Enfilade) driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. The dam Enfilade also produced double Prix-d’Amerique winner Offshore Dream. Comtesse Flore (4f Sam Bourbon-Topaze de Fael) took today’s Prix de Marennes at Enghien as 15 starters battled for the €48,000 over the 2875 meter distance. Tony Le Beller teamed the 3.6/1 odds winner timed in 1.16.66kr for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. 5/1 Comtesse (4f Oiseau de Feux-Oeniades) was second for Mathieu Mottier and third went to 3/1 favorite Cadeace (4f Scipion du Goutier-Orchidee Rouge) with J-M Bazire up for trainer Franck Leblanc. Yesterday at Mons Ghlin Capitole (7g Offshore Dream-Extra Dry) took the Prix Capelle Belgique over the 2300 meter autostart course for a purse of €5,760. 16 International starters were at the start with the 1.2/1 odds favorite home on top in 1.15.6kr for trainer/driver Hugo Langeweg Jr. On the same card the Prix Journal Eurotierce for €7,200 over 2850 meters was contested by nine international participants. The 1.16.2kr winner was the 9/10 favorite Trailing Edge (7m Scarlet Knight-Veda Sund) driven by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Robert Bergh and Ecurie Rally. On the last weekend solid action took place in Italy. On February 27 at Aversa the €45,100 purse Gr. II Gran Premio Andreani went to the 1.13.4kr timed Telecomando OK (4m Love You-Flavia Kronos-SJ’s Photo) for Enrico Bellei. The victory over 1660 meters on the half-miletrack was number eight in 15 starts for earnings now in excess of €123,000. Tobias Del Ronco (4m Love You-Leonor Del Ronco-Supergill) was second for G.P. Minnucci with third to Tulum (4m Algiers Hall-Image OM-Lemon Dra). On Sunday February 28 at Firenze’s 1000 meter track the Gr. II Prix Ponte Vecchio for €45,100 went to Radiofreccia FI (6f Ganymede-Castilia-Lemon Dra) for Enrico Bellei timed in 1.13.5kr over 2020 meters. Rum E Coca Day was second ahead of well-regarded Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill). The race winner recorded her 15th victory in 55 starts now for over €395,000 earned. Veteran Mack Grace SM (10m CC’s Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal) has made two recent starts in Italy after eight months away from the races. On January 28 he scored a 1.13.2kr victory at Albenga  over 1600 meters and on February 28 the classy old-timer finished second at Milano timed in 1.13.9kr. He’s earned €3,668 in those two efforts. It was also reported that Prix de Paris winner Lionel will get a short rest to be ready for a next start in mid-April at Enghien in the Prix de l’Atlantique. The son of Look de Star, he by Coktail Jet, would then likely return to Norway for the Oslo Grand Prix, a Gr I International test at Bjerke Racecourse on June 12, a race to which Lionel has already been invited. Oslo GP 2016: http://www.bjerke.no/Bjerke/OGP/2016/4siders%20A4%20folder_2016_korrektur3.pdf Thomas H. Hicks  

As a breeder, for you are to have consistently good results at the yearling sales each year, then you really need a good crystal ball on top of everything else. When the vendors were planning what mare to breed to what stallion to produce the yearlings they sold at the sales this year, they had to make a judgement call on which stallions they thought would be in demand two and a half years down the track and which wouldn't be in such demand. It is an incredibly hard thing to get right and the margin for error is huge. It was with some satisfaction then that Studholme Park and Brian West produced the only two yearlings by Love You at the yearling sales this year. The stock of Love You are the hottest item in town on the trotting stallion front and Studholme Park was duly rewarded for its foresight with both yearlings selling for big money. First up was Lot 294, a Love You colt from a race winning half sister to the dam of I Can Doosit 1:55.5 ($1,455,774) named Thank You. Appropriately, Thank You was knocked down to two of the biggest supporters of Love You in New Zealand in Greg and Nina Hope who outlaid $50,000 for the good looking chestnut colt. Greg and Nina have had a lot of success with the stock of Love You from Monbet to the The Earth Moved and it was no surprise to see them have a nibble at the second Love You colt from the Studholme Park draft. Catalogued as Lot 334, the striking chestnut colt is named Paramount King and is a half brother to the outstanding age group trotter in Paramount Geegee 1:57.3 ($561,342) and a full brother to the Harness Jewels winner in Paramount Queen 1:59.7 ($122,612) while another half sister in Paramount Dream (8 wins) is heading for open class in the north. The bidding was fierce from the moment Paramount King walked into the ring and never let up until suddenly $110,000 became the ceiling for the buyers chasing him. Prominent Invercargill owner Ben Calder signed for the colt but he had already started the process of putting together a syndicate to race the colt before the auction. So Studholme Park grossed $160,000 for their two Love You colts which just goes to show how important that stallion choice is two and a half years out from the yearling sales. Harnesslink Media

8.8/1 Banquiere (5m Quopeck-Ile d’Emerade) won today’s Prix Elma at Enghien for a purse of €50,000 over 2875 meters. 15 rivals contested the event timed in 1.16.1kr. 2.3/1 Bilfie de Guez (5f Vivaldi de Chenu-Quefie) was second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire ahead of 10/1 Betsy du Quenne (5f Quaker Jet-Mon Egerie) for David Thomain. The Prix de Montsalvy (purse €38,000, 2875 meters, 12 starters) went to 87.2/1 Douce Ligneries (3f Love You-Ouragane) timed in 1.18.2kr for trainer/driver Bruno Marfigliano. 2.5/1 Difa Girl (3f Love You-Rifa Rainbow) was second for J-Ph Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G, Poulsen-Allaire. 17/1 Daliemosa (3f Kaiser Soze-Jaldemosa) ended third for David Thomain. Also at Enghien the €37.000 Prix de l’Authie over 2150 meters autostart drew 13 starters and the 1.1.1kr winner was 2.7/1 City Sees (4f Sam Bourbon-Dolly du Buisson) over 6.4/1 Comete (4f Niky-l’Aventuriere) for Mathieu Abrivard. Third was 5.3/1 Chimere du Goutier (4f Kaisy Dream-Queen Bourbon) for Cl. Duvaldestin and Ecurie Saint Martin. At La Croise Laroche the Prix de Beaupreau (purse €18,000, 2700 meters autostart, 16 starters) went to 1.4/1 favorite Crossroads (4m Quaker Jet-Modesty) timed in 1.17.3kr for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin and Ecurie Bresil. 45/1 Claudius Servinois was second with 15/1 Caravaggio (4m Quaker Jet-Nicotera) third for Julien Raffestin and Ecurie Mexique Ranch. The Prix de Verdun at La Croise Laroche went for €30,000 over 2700 meters autostart. 16 rivals battled with the 1.14kr win to 3.9/1 Apollpn de Kacy (m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kyles) with owner/trainer/driver Jorgen Westholm aboard. 4.8/1 Tiennov and 1.4/1 Vivaldi chased the winner to the line. At Mariendorf Berlin the Prix Berthe Morisot (purse €5,000, 1900 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to the 1.16.9kr winner 28.6/1 Amigo Kievitshof (9g Jag de Bellouet-Armbro Pagan) for owner/trainer/driver Andre Schiller. 28.8/1 Dolomit R was second for Norbert Bierman ahead of 7/10 favorite Fiobana driven by Thorsten Tietz. Friday evening’s top race was the Gr. III Prix de Joinville le Pont (purse €80,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters) at Cagnes-sur-mer. The 3/1 favorite Ugo du Nieul (8m Cygnus d’Odyssee-Harmoinie de Nieul) scored in 1.13.1kr for Romain Derieux, trainer/driver foir D.J. Rousseau, the owner. 11/1 Vicomte Boufarcaux (7m Oh James-Olympe du Boufard) was second for Gabriele Gelormini ahead of 15/1 Truman Dairpet (9g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. Favored 1.7/1 Sid finished ninth. Nicolas Ensch was been named to the FR driving team in an upcoming contest against Team America that will kickoff at Yonkers Raceway in March. Also at Cagnes-sur-mer the Prix Radisson Blu Nice (purse €44,000, 2925 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.16.4kr timed winner the 5.5/1 Altea de Piencourt (f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Moonlight Disques) for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. 2.4/1 Bently de Raconis (5g Repeat Love-Bodomie) was scond for trainer Nicolas Emsch and owner Antonio De Sousa. 7.8/1 Bolide de la Cote (5g Quatre Juillet-Scarlet Pride) was third for trainer/driver Cl-A Mary. Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris has been moved to race six with off time of 10:20am US eastern time. The sports world will be watching Bold Eagle in his quest for the FR Triple Crown. Thomas H. Hicks

Gabriele Gelormini reined well-regarded Amiral Sacha (6m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) to victory in the Gr. III Prix de Plateau de Gravelle (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart) at Paris-Vincennes. The well-regarded winner, off at 1.8/1 odds, recorded his fifth harness racing victory in the last ten outings. Ecurie Sidere owns Amiral Sacha. Second was 26/1 Beckman (9g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema) with Franck Nivard up and third finishing was fast-closing Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) at 9/10 odds for driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc.The excellent field also included Tornado Bello that was fourth for Pierre Levesque and the Bjorn Goop teamed Luckycharm Hanover that hugged the pegs to be fifth. Time for the winner was 1.11.9kr off rated fractions (1.12.5kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.12.5kr at the 1000, 1.12.6kr at the 500). Zonguldak (7g Love You-Heartenings Crown) took the Q+ Prix du Cantal (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) for Christophe Martens, Vincent Martens trainer and Joseph Danduffel owner. Timed in 1.15.2kr the winner was off at 5.9/1 odds. 2.7/1 Ange de Lune (g Laetemter Diem-Kera Elle) was next for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard but didsqualifed, with third placed second to 5.2/1 Rosemary Gar (6f Donato Hanover-Allstar FC) for J-M Bazire, trainer Salvatore Minopli for Allenamento Team Minopoli. Udo’s Oiler was fourth placed third for Dominik Locqueneux at 16/1 and Rico Follo was fifth placed fourth for Bjorn Goop at 36/1. Poker Kronos (7g Viking Kronos-Frances Lavec) was placed fifth driven by Pierre Vercruysse. The Norwegian coldbloods were featured in the Prix des Trotteurs “Sang-Froid” for a purse of €20,000 over the 2100 meter autostart course. Finnskog Fokus (9g Spikeld-Silje Spreta) recorded victory at 25/1 odds for Gunnar Austevol timed in 1.24.2kr over Guli Rask (8g Jarvsofaks-Guli Tessan) handled by Franck Nivard ay 4.7/1. Third was Jarvso Rasmus (7g Lumjor Eik Anna) at 31/1 for Bjorn Goop. The Prix d’Epinay (purse €37,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) was timed in 1.12.9kr by the winner 17.4/1 odds Clint d’Ambri (4g Hulk des Champs-Old Girl) driven by Gabriele Gelormini. 13/1 Chocolat du Bourg (4m Nahar de Beval-Malouvia) was second for Joel Van Eeckhaute, also owner/trainer. 14/1 Cocktail d’Auvrecy (4g Kaiser Soze-Meliana Bella) was third for Ecurie Jeloca and trainer/driver J.L.Cl.Dersoir. 2.8/1 favorite Bayern (5g Jam Pridem-Fulanera) took the monte Prix des Andelys (purse €65,000, 2700 meters) for Leo Abrivard for owned/trainer Yannick A. Briand timed in 1.14.3kr. The victory was his second straight in 2016 and fourth in the last ten outings. His career earnings now exceed €151,000. 75/1 Bifidus (5g Quopeck-Omaha Lika) was second for P-Edouard Mary with third to 12.5/1 Beautiful Dussac (5g And Arifant-Olympe de Dussac). The 0.5/1 heavy favorite Cedea Josselyn (4f Love You-Dea Josselyn) took the Prix de Guise (purse €65,000, 2700 meters) timed in 1.15.6kr for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire for Yvan Barnard, owner. Cedea Josselyn scored her fifth victory in the last eight efforts and her earnings now exceed €112,000. 18/1 Cathy A Quira (4f Password-Quira des Jacquets) rallied for second for Franck Nivard with third to 62/1 Class Petteviniere (4f Repeat Love-Nice Petteviniere) for teamster Franck Ouvrie. Victoire Smiling (7f Memphis du Rib-Kediva) took the Prix de Vire (purse €70,000, 2175 meters, monte) for Julien Raffestin timed in 1.12.6kr. She was off at 36/1 odds in defeat of 7/1 Volcan de Bellande (7g Magnificent Rodney-Etoile de Bellande) with third to 6/1 Accordeon (6g Baccarat du Pont-Quaba des Corvees) with Alexandre Abrivard up. Thomas H. Hicks  

The first of the tote races for the 2015-2106 season for the two year old trotters was held at Addington Raceway this evening and provided a great spectacle as the first four home all showed enough on the night to suggest that we are in for some great contests as the harness racing season progresses. Custodian from barrier eight left the gate with the mobile for driver David Butt and was in front after 200 metres and proceeded to set a hectic pace in front. The well supported Habibi Inta with Blair Orange in the cart was slow off the gate and settled sixth in the running early while Regal Love and Tim Williams ended up in the open in the running line when things settled down after the start. David Butt kept Custodian rolling in front, putting half a dozen lengths between himself and the field as they went past the 800 metres mark. Tim Williams and Regal Love were the first to make a move to close the gap on the tearaway leader and Habibi Inta quickly got onto Regal Love's back as they passed the 400 metres. These three were joined on the point of the turn by Miracle Rising with trainer / driver Gavin Smith in the bike who had been four back on the inner and these four drew away from the rest. Custodian was still in front 100 metres out but his earlier exertions started to catch up with him and he was claimed by both Habibi Inta and Miracle Rising with 50 metres to go with Habibi Inta holding a neck advantage over Miracle Rising at  the finishing line with a game Custodian a close up third just in front of an equally game Regal Love who had dragged the field up to the leader. The winners time for the 1950 metres from the mobile was a smart 2:26.6, a mile rate of 2:00.9 with closing sectionals of 60.2 and 30.7 Trainer Paul Nairn was happy that his charge did everything right at his first race start. " I told Blair he had never been behind the mobile before and to not rush him early which is why he was so far behind them early on." " I knew he was good enough to win the race but I was more concerned that he did everything right at his first start to help build up his confidence." " I think I will give him his next start in the two year old trot at Methven on the grass as a lead into the 2 year old Trotting Stakes at the end of March at Addington as he handles the grass really well," Paul told Harnesslink this evening. Gavin Smith had a huge smile on his face after the run of Miracle Rising to grab second on debut. " I couldn't have been happier with my horse's run." " He is not switched on as yet to what racings all about but he has got an awful lot of natural ability. " I thought he was too big to make a two year old but he is proving me wrong." " He is beautifully gaited and has great manners and going forward there is so much improvement in him that it is scary," Gavin said. Throw in Custodian and Regal Love who lost no admirers with their game runs tonight and the two year old trotting ranks look to be especially strong this year. Harnesslink Media  

The old saying about timing being everything when selling yearlings has always held true and this year will be no different. Stallions with progeny excelling in or dominating the big age group and classic races always extract a big premium on harness racing sale day. If the vendor is really lucky, they can also strike the jackpot where the numbers by the stallion in question are very low, creating an availability issue as well. That perfect storm is present at this years round of sales for the brilliant trotting sire,Love You. The last twelve months have been a stellar period for the European bred stallion with Monbet, Kincaslough, Habibti and Yagunnakissmeornot all excelling in classic and age group racing in New Zealand. His overall statistics are super impressive with a winners to foal ratio of just under 50% for his crops three years and older and he looks to have several very serious two year olds trialing at present which is only further enhancing his reputation. In such circumstances, you would normally expect a swag of the progeny of Love You to be cataloged for this years round of sales but issues between the two management parties supplying the frozen semen of Love You meant his availability was severely restricted in the 2103/2014 breeding season. As a result we only have two of Love You's progeny being offered at the New Zealand Premier Yearling sale this year and as luck would have it, Brian West of Studholme Park is the vendor of both. Not only are the two yearlings by the hottest trotting sire in the country, but they both have have a " Blue Blood' maternal pedigree to balance the pedigree page. Lot 294 at Christchurch is a colt named Thank You and is the first live foal of the racewinning S J's Photo mare Margaritaville who is a half sister to the 2011-2012 Broodmare of the year in Sheezadoosie (7 wins) who of course is the dam of the champion I Can Doosit 1:55.5 ($1,445,774) and Sno's Big Boy 1:58.4 ($215,309) Lot 334 at Christchurch is named Paramount King and is a son of Paramount Star (7 wins) who has already produced the brilliant age group star in Paramount Geegee 1:57.3 ($561,342) and a full sister to Paramount King in Paramount Queen 1:59.7 ($122,612) while Paramount Dream who has won seven in the last twelve months is another daughter on the rise. In normal circumstances both of these colts would be in high demand but throw in the supply side of the equation and heaven knows what they might bring. Both are chestnuts which a lot of the smart Love You progeny in New Zealand are and as you can see from the photo's, both have that touch of class in appearance. It is not often that trotters top the $100,000 mark at yearling sales in New Zealand but both of these colts have the potential to do so this year. Harnesslink Media

Anyone who has been around the New Zealand yearling sale scene over the last 30 years will know who Brian West is. Since the mid 1980s, Brian has been preparing and selling yearlings for the Christcurch based sale and during that time he has lead the way in introducing things such as specialized feeding and exercise programmes which have revolutionized how yearlings are prepared in 2016 compared to just a few years ago. The yearlings presented at New Zealand sales in 2016 are up there with anything in the world and Brian has been a big part of that development over the years. There wouldn't be a major yearling vendor in North America who hasn't had a visit from Brian trying to pick their brains for any knowledge that would help his boutique breeding operation Studholme Park produce a better yearling. The results would say that Brian is as good as it gets when it comes to producing elite level age group performers and this years draft once again looks full of quality individuals. I recently sat down with Brian to discuss this years draft and to ask for his opinion on which lots had really impressed him but he wanted his staff involved in the discussion as well . " I have outstanding staff lead by Jan Payne and I respect their opinion enormously so I will nominate the yearlings that have impressed me but I would like their views to be known as well as they have been with the yearlings since day one," Brian told Harnesslink this week Brians Selections Top Colt  -  Lot 334 - A chestnut colt by Love You from Paramount Star Just an outstanding colt in every way. He has a lovely attitude, he is with you the whole time. Very quick learner and just a pleasure to work with. I have bred some elite level trotters in the past but this colt is the next generation up in my opinion. He just ticks every box for me Top Filly - Lot 260  -  A brown filly by Bettor's Delight from Lancome This filly reminds me so much of her mother and she has all those little habits that her dam had. There is a bit of class about her when you work with her and she has a superb temperament which is so critical today. I have had a lot of high class fillies through Studholme Park over the years and you pick up all the little traits that the elite performers have and this filly has them all in spades. Sleeper in the draft  -  Lot 398  -  A bay colt by Art Official from Simply Devine This was an easy selection. Being by Art Official means he is behind the eight ball from the start but the buyers should put their catalogue down and just have a look at the colt. He is one very well put together colt and a very attractive type in the flesh. A very quick learner who is just a pleasure to do anything with. Everyone at Studholme Park likes him which is a rare achievement for a yearling here I can tell you. He is there to be sold so someone is going to get a cheap horse whatever he sells for.   Staffs Selection (Jan Payne) Top Colt - Lot 312 - A brown colt by Bettor's Delight from My Style A lovely colt who has all the attributes you look for in those elite colts.. He is a correct attractive colt, who is always cooperative when you are working with him. He is a very alert colt who is a very quick learner but not one to get stressed. Just ticks every box and does it easily. Top Filly  -  Lot 493  - A bay filly by Bettor's Delight from A Legend Just a lovely filly to do anything with right from day one. She picks things up quickly and is a very mature filly for her age. Nothing worries her which is a big plus and she has all the attributes of a filly that will run early. Sleeper in the draft  -  Lot 398 - A bay colt by Art Official from Simply Devine I have to agree with Brian here in that the Art Official colt has impressed everyone at Studholme during the yearling preparation. He is such a lovely individual to do anything with and is a great looking horse as well. He has shown all the attributes you look for in an elite colt but being by Art Official will see him make a fraction of what we think he is worth. Brian and Studholme Park are offering twenty yearlings over the two days of the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch and one thing you can be sure of is those yearlings have lacked for nothing in the lead up to next week. Harnesslink Media

North Canterbury harness racing trainer Robbie Holmes went into last nights Summer Cup for trotters at Addington Raceway with Aile Rouge with one aim and that was to get a line on where he fitted in amongst the best trotters in Canterbury at the moment. Robbie thought if he could finish in the first five with Aile Rouge in such a strong field at just his second start back from a spell he would be a happy man. Two minutes and twenty four seconds later he was saluting the judge as he came back to the winners circle and still getting over the shock of winning the $27,000 race. Away well from barrier two, Robbie quickly settled Aile Rouge into the trail behind Sunny Ruby and then he was posted three back on the inner when Monty Python went to the front at the 1400 metres mark. Bottled up three back on the inner as they turned for home, Aile Rouge got a lovely gap on the outside of Sunny Ruby and flew the last bit to win by half a length going away. Aile Rouge trotted the 1950 metres in a smart 2:24.3, a mile rate of 1:59 with closing sectionals of 58 and 29.1 Robbie was thrilled with the performance. " We only started Aile Rouge in this race and not in race 3 to let Clean Break who was on the ballot in race 3 get into the other Alabar Final for trotters as we thought he was a real chance in that race." "The aim with Aile Rouge in the Summer Cup was just to get a line on where he stood in the pecking order amongst the good trotters and we were hoping for a first five result at best. " He has really sprinted when the gap opened up and was going away at the finish," Robbie said. The son of Love You had been a star during winter racing at Addington but this was a big step up in class to what he had been racing. Robbie thought a couple of things were in his favour tonight. " He is really quick off the mobile and the distance was right up his alley." " The 2600 metres is a bit far for him most of the time but he loves those 1950 races and his record shows that. " I am thrilled for Jenny (owner) as she has had horses with me since I started training and she deserves a good horse," Robbie said. Aile Rouge Harnesslink Media  

With the yearling sales just ten days away now, all the vendors at this years sales have long ago finalized all their advertising and promotion of their stock. The photos and videos are up and all the vendors can hope for is that the prospective buyers are as taken with their yearlings as they are. One way that the odd vendor can get a lift in the last ten days or so before a sale is if close relatives to their offerings make a bit of a splash on the racing scene. Last weekend the very successful broodmare Juverna had stock winning races all over Australasia which can only bode well for the sale prospects of her Majestic Son filly on the first day of this years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch. Selling as Lot 250, The Best Moment Yet had three siblings salute the judge on both sides of the Tasman in the space of 24 hours. First up was Quite A Moment who was ultra impressive winning a $20,000 trot at Melton where she easily accounted for the very smart Maori Time and One Over Da Moon. The daughter of Quite Easy simply bolted in and it was a run that really impressed driver Ricky May. " She won that so easily the other night I think she would be more than competitive against the best trotters going around and I think Greg is considering that option," Ricky told Harnesslink earlier in the week. It was her 14th career victory and took her earnings over the $258,000 mark. Two hours later at Albion Park, Duke Of The Moment kept the momentum going when he took out the trotters handicap. The son of Monarchy was recording his 18th career victory which took his lifetime earnings to just shy of $158,000. Come Sunday in New Zealand and the icing on the cake for Juverna was the performance of her Love You daughter Moment Of Love, who brained them by eight and a half lengths at the Wairarapa meeting at the Manawatu Raceway. Grant Beckett, the vendor of The Best Moment Yet at this years sales is still shaking his head over the three progeny winning last weekend. " With the sales just around the corner, to have three winners from the mare in just one weekend was a huge thrill. " The best advertising you can ever get is the progeny winning races and to have three do it together is a great achievement." " I already thought that The Best Moment Yet would sell well because I think she is best yearling on type that Juverna has produced so the three winners is really a bonus," Grant told Harnesslink earlier today.  Grant has a second yearling from the family that he is selling on the second day of the New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch as Lot 432 A daughter of Lucky Chucky 1:50.8 ($2,099,973) who sired a Hambletonian Oaks elimination winner from his first crop, the filly is named Luck Of The Moment and is from a Sundon daughter of Juverna. " She has just been a bit behind the other filly all the way through but has closed the gap just lately and has a lot of the family traits of Juverna so I have a bit of time for her," was Grant's opinion of her when talking to us today. Juverna has since produced a colt by Peak but it has already been sold. " Tim Butt was very keen to buy him so he has changed hands already and I put her back in foal to Peak." "Sunny Moment didn't have a foal this year but she is safely in foal to Andover Hall now," Grant said.  Juverna is from as good a trotting family results wise over the last twenty years as there is in the New Zealand stud book. The three winners last weekend is just a timely reminder to yearling buyers of how good this family is. Harnesslink Media

Vichenko Chef (7g Chef du Chatelet-Incertaine Mabon) took today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €4 million) €50,000 purse Prix de L’ille-et-Vilaine at Vincennes, in which 18 European participants traveled the 2100 meter course. The winner was timed in 1.12.1kr and Ch. Dreux was the driver and is owner/trainer. Off at 3.4/1 the winner defeated 10.5/1 Viking Dream (7g Iserio-Helfie) and Eric Raffin with third to 6/1 Viking du Pilet (7g Kuadro Wild-Indra du Pilet) and Franck Ouvrie. 37/1 Pike River finished fourth with Antoine Wiels aboard with 165/1 Violine Mourotaise fifth with David Thomain up. Maffioso Face finished eighth in this contest. On this card the monte Prix de Douvres (purse €60,000, 2175 meters, 15 starters with apprentice lad jiockeys) went to 4.5/1 A Mery des Chahains (f Password-Neuit du Plainville) timed in 1.13.8kr for jockey Luca Donati for trainer/owner Cedrik Megissier. 3/2 odds Alexane d’Urzy (f Coktail Jet-Oree Bourbon) was next for Leo Abrivard teaming for L.Cl. Abrivard trainer for Ecurie Augustin Normand. 5.4/1 Aviva Aimef (f Love You-Harmonie du Fosse) was third for Niels Pacha and trainer Mathieu Abrivard. The Europeans contested the €64,000 purse Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (2700 meters, 12 starters) with Geisha Sund (6f Love You-Kanadia) recording a 1.14.5kr victory at 2.2/1 odds for Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Robert Bergh and Etoile Sweden HB. Finishing second at 9.5/1 was Rugiada dei Rex (f Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex) with J-M Bazire aboard for trainer Peter G. Norman and owner Arnold Mollema. 6.4/1 Royal Roz (f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc) landed third in the blanket finish with Mathieu Abrivard trainer and driver for owner Scuderia Sant Eusebio. Defi Dream (3m Royal Dream-Quelea MIP) took the Prix de Vibraye (purse €33,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) timed in 1.18.2kr with Franck Nivard up. Fabrice Souloy trains Defi Dream that Ecurie Mexique Ranch owns. 39.2/1 Djimmy de Vive (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Jezira de Mormal) was second for P-Y Verva and third was 27/1 Django Justice (3g Osvaldo Bello-Perle de Meauce). This afternoon Camille Levesque piloted 7/2 odds Bohemian Rhapsody (5f Angus Hall-Bahama) to victory in the €50,000 purse Prix de la Geneuraye over 2700 meters. 14 contested this monte event. The 1.15.2kr winner is trained by Thomas Levesque and owned by Ecurie Pierre Levesque. 74.3/1 Bambolina (5f Kaiser Soze-Sims Thai) was second for Antoine Lamy and trainer Alain Roussel. 52/1 Brise des Noels  was third with 2.4/1 favorite Belebrine fourth for Eric Raffin. This day the runners were at Cagnes-sur-mer and American trainer Mme Gina Rarick saddled a training winner with 18/1 odds King Driver in the €17,000 purse Prix de la Napoule. Mme Rarick has been writing for The Paulick Report with Alan Shuback, a fabulous diary covering her current experiences at Cagnes-sur-mer. It is well worth reading. Congrats to Mme. Rarick. Thomas H. Hicks  

The old saying about timing being everything when selling yearlings has always held true and this year will be no different. Stallions with progeny excelling in or dominating the big age group and classic races always extract a big premium on harness racing sale day. If the vendor is really lucky, they can also strike the jackpot where the numbers by the stallion in question are very low, creating an availability issue as well. That perfect storm is present at this years round of sales for the brilliant trotting sire,Love You. The last twelve months have been a stellar period for the European bred stallion with Monbet, Kincaslough, Habibti and Yagunnakissmeornot all excelling in classic and age group racing in New Zealand. His overall statistics are super impressive with a winners to foal ratio of just under 50% for his crops three years and older and he looks to have several very serious two year olds trialing at present which is only further enhancing his reputation. In such circumstances, you would normally expect a swag of the progeny of Love You to be cataloged for this years round of sales but issues between the two management parties supplying the frozen semen of Love You meant his availability was severely restricted in the 2103/2014 breeding season. As a result we only have two of Love You's progeny being offered at the New Zealand Premier Yearling sale this year and as luck would have it, Brian West of Studholme Park is the vendor of both. Not only are the two yearlings by the hottest trotting sire in the country, but they both have have a " Blue Blood' maternal pedigree to balance the pedigree page. Lot 294 at Christchurch is a colt named Thank You and is the first live foal of the racewinning S J's Photo mare Margaritaville who is a half sister to the 2011-2012 Broodmare of the year in Sheezadoosie (7 wins) who of course is the dam of the champion I Can Doosit 1:55.5 ($1,445,774) and Sno's Big Boy 1:58.4 ($215,309) Lot 334 at Christchurch is named Paramount King and is a son of Paramount Star (7 wins) who has already produced the brilliant age group star in Paramount Geegee 1:57.3 ($561,342) and a full sister to Paramount King in Paramount Queen 1:59.7 ($122,612) while Paramount Dream who has won seven in the last twelve months is another daughter on the rise. In normal circumstances both of these colts would be in high demand but throw in the supply side of the equation and heaven knows what they might bring. Both are chestnuts which a lot of the smart Love You progeny in New Zealand are and as you can see from the photo's, both have that touch of class in appearance. It is not often that trotters top the $100,000 mark at yearling sales in New Zealand but both of these colts have the potential to do so this year. Harnesslink Media

North Canterbury harness racing trainer Greg Hope has never been slow to point out to journalists his opinion of his outstanding trotter Monbet. Right through his three year old campaign when due to a variety of issues he was playing second fiddle to another outstanding young trotter in Speeding Spur, Greg never let a chance go by without taking the opportunity to tell you that the best was yet to come. That the big son of Love You would continue to improve as he matured into his large frame and if Greg was patient now, he would reap the rewards further down the track. It is a philosophy that Greg and wife Nina, who train the four year old gelding have stuck to again this season with the four year old gelding as they have structured his programme for his long term benefit regardless of the money involved. Even though he dominated the New Zealand FFA on Cup Day this year, he was at home in his box when the $250,000 Dominion Handicap was run three days later.  Now as we approach the $300,000 Southern Star series, Greg is in Australia with his star trotter but not for the big dance. Instead he has targeted the Australasian Trotting Championship and after a brilliant heat win at Ballarat last night appears in a different league to the opposition he will face next week in the $50,000 final. Away slowly as the lone back marker on 20 metres, Monbet tagged on to bunch after 500 metres but when regular driver Ricky May pushed the go button, he quickly looped the field and grabbed the lead and proceeded to run away and hide from a smart field of FFA trotters. At the line he had 19 metres to spare from runner up Super Zeck as Ricky let him coast down to the line. The quality of the win was there for all to see and Monbet carved nearly two seconds off the track record to boot. Ricky May was thrilled with the the first up effort in Australia. "We gave them 20 metres start and still won with a lot in hand so I am rapt with the run." "He was really fresh tonight so I was a bit careful with him early but that run will tidy him nicely for next week and he should strip a better horse again." "I have always said that Monbet was a freakish trotter who has pacer like speed and he looks to have a huge future," Ricky said. Ricky was just as upbeat when talking about his Ballarat Pacing Cup drive Mossdale Conner who ran a creditable fourth in his Australian debut. "I have never known him to get that keen in a race." "Greg had him pretty fresh going into it as he has a big few weeks in front of him but as a result he half pulled himself into the ground." "The way he felt, I didn't think he would have been too far away from the first two if he had settled." "He will be really tight next week so that won't be a problem and I give him a chance of getting amongst it." "The race that will really suit him will be the Hunter Cup where his great standing start manners will make him a huge chance," Ricky said. Harnesslink Media

The January 5th harness racing card at Paris-Vincennes included the Prix de Mezieres (purse €35,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) with victory to 6/1 Douchka Love (3f Love You-Shucca) driven by Bernard Piton for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and trainer Yves Boireau. Timed in 1.17.7kr the winner bested 9/1 Danae Quesnot (3f Rocklyn-Megara) handled by Eric Raffin and 1.3/1 favorite Duchesse de Jiel (3f Oiseau de Feux-Quilea Jiel) driven by Mathieu Abrivard. The winners’ dam Shucca (Goetmals Wood-Hucca-Kimberland) was a winner of US$226,073 and second at age three in the Prix d’Essai. Bothg of her previous two foals raced and were money winners. Kimberland is a son of Nevele Pride-Astrasia-Jamin. The day’s Quinte+ (jackpot €2.8 million) was the Prix de Poitiers (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) the produced a 1.13.5kr winner at 3.1/1 odds, namely Unice de Guez (8f Capriccio-Eau Alecche) handled by trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Vautors. This one defeated 10/1 Union du Rib (8f Fleuron Perrine-Hermine du Rib) driven by trainer J.L.Cl. Dersoir for Ecurie Jeloca with third to 5.2/1 Uniflosa Bella (8f Jag de Bellouet-Koctiflosa Gede) reined by Eric Raffin for Jean-Paul Marmion, trainer and owner. Favored 1.8/1 odds Blackaro (5g Quaro-Rodness Queen) took the Prix de Cordemais (purse €46,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) timed in 1.14.8kr for teamster Mathieu Abrivard. Franck Nivard piloted 5.4/1 Bocognano (5m Coktail Jet-Qualarossa) to second for trainer Jorgen Westholm and Ecurie Nolimit AB. 11.8/1 Buzz Sly (5m Repeat Love-Riviera As) was third for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse. On January 6th the Paris-Vincennes’ featured Prix de Covey-le-Chateau (purse €70,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to the 1.15.6kr timed and 1.9/1 odds favorite Cova Josselyn (4f Love You-Sezira Josselyn) driven by trainer J-M Bazire for owner Yvan Bernard. 4/1 Comtesse du Chene (4f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) was a rallying second for Pierre Vercruysse and 59/1 Claire des Baux (4f Nectar-Polina des Baux) ended third for P-Y Verva. Thomas H. Hicks  

The first set of harness racing trials in the Canterbury area for 2016 were held at Rangiora Raceway today and several new faces impressed as they prepare for race debuts. One who took our eye was Habibi Inta. Whenever Paul Nairn lines up a two year old trotter, it pays to sit up and take notice and today was no different. Paul entered Habibi Inta in the standing start qualifying trot over 2600 metres and drove the two year old colt himself and it was the manner of the win that really impressed. Away second early, the trotter in front of him broke soon after but Habibi Inta never missed a beat avoiding the galloper . Taking a trail soon after behind Helen Shapiro, Habibi Inta was dropped by a couple of lengths on turning in by Helen Sharipo but dug deep and grabbed the leader 70 metres out and went on to win by a head. Habibi Inta trotted the 2600 metres in 3:32.7, nearly seven seconds inside the required time and the beautifully bred son of Love You has laid down a marker so early in the season with today's run. Being a full brother to the champion age group trotter Habibti and to last years New Zealand Trotters Oaks winner in Habibti Ivy, Habibi Inta has the breeding to go with the ability he showed today. Paul Nairn was still undecided where he would go from here. "I might just give him a start or two in maidens and then turn him out for a brief spell as the big races for juvenile trotters are not until late April- early May. "I like to give my two year olds a few standing starts before they see a mobile which was why he was in the stand today." "His dam is doing a huge job and he has all the attributes of a top horse." "Being a colt, he was a bit of a handful early on but as we upped his workload he came to it pretty quickly," Paul said. Like a lot of the Love You's, Habibi Inta is a big lump of a two year old but looks to have the manners and ability to make his mark at two. And with Paul Nairn in his corner, Habibi Inta has a big advantage over most of his competitors. Harnesslink Media

December 29, 2015 - Tuesday’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes and the €64,000 Prix de Craon (2700 meters, 16 European starters) went to 14/1 Italian invader Only One Glory (7m Ganymede-Eva Kant Gar) handled by Roberto Andreghetti for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Scuderia RPR. Clocked in 1.14kr the winner defeated Pioneer Gar (m Varenne-Follia) with Eric Raffin up for Scuderia Super Chico SAS and trainer Johanna Lindqvist. Another invader the 4.7/1 Tell Me No Lies (g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious) landed third in a photo for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Fabrice Souloy and KLV Holding AB. Franck Nivard steered 11.3/1 Unero Montaval (7g Nem-Heroine du Loir) to fourth ahead of 73/1 Plutonio (6m Self Possessed-Indra Bi) with Damien Bonne up for Vincent Martens (trainer). This day the top monte event was the €70,000 Prix de Gambais (2175 meters, 8 monter starters) and 2.4/1 Bolide Jenilou (4g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) took victory with ease for Damien Bonne. The 2.6/1 second choice Brut de la Cote (4g Kepler-Ombra Mai Fu) landed second for Antoine Lamy and trainer Sebastien Guarato with the Franck Leblanc trained, Franck Nivard ridden, 7.8/1 odds, Baron du Chene (4m Goetmals Wood-Imperiale du Chene) on the line third. The race time was a quick 1.12.9kr. Two year-olds contested the Prix des Freesias (purse €35,000, 2175 meters, 14 entrants) and this 1.1.7kr winner was 1.7/1 favorite Difa Girl (2f Love You-Rifa Rainbow) reined by J.Ph Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner G.Poulsen-Allaire. 144/1 longshot Dunka de Perthuis (2f So Lovely Girl-Pepita Ra) finished second for J-F Senet with third to 21/1 Dolga du Pommereux (2f Coktail Jet-Salsa du Pommereux). There are large number of productive FR two year-olds in this crop led by the offspring of Ready Cash and Love You. The dam of winner Difa Girl is a daughter of Kaisy Dream-Ica du Pas-Workaholic and Difa Girl is her third foal. The Prix de Limay (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) was a victory for 52/1 Cayenne de Houelle (3f Scipion du Goutier-Irinade la Frette)) timed in 1.16.4kr for driver Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc. 7/2 Clef de Fe (3f Fleuron Perrine-Rivendell) took second for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard with 43/1 Cible du Bouffey (3f Password-Illusion du Coq) earning third for P-Y Verva. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 31, 2015 - Paris-Vincennes celebrated New Year’s Eve with a solid harness racing program led by the Gr. III Prix Chateau Chinon (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) and it was won by Italy’s Traders (3m Ready Cash-Graziella) with J-Ph Monclin up for trainer Philippe Allaire and Scuderia Colibri SAS. The even-money favorite scored in 1.14kr to defeat 27/1 Tiger di Poggio (3m Andover Hall-Idole di Poggio) for J-M Bazire, trainer Mlle. Stephanie Lepetit and owner J-A Saguin. Third was 5.2/1 Coeur Baroque (3g Offshore Dream-Joie Baroque) with Damien Bonne teaming for the trainer/owner team of Thierry Raffegau and J-Y Roze. Cash Hanover from Germany finished 10th and Clarck Sotho was a disqualification. The Prix de Saint-Qwen-Dis-Toits (purse €40,000, 2700 meters, 10 monte starters) was the opener and it went to 4.1/1 Bohemian Rhapsody (4f Angus Hall-Bahama-Quito de Talonay) timed in 1.15.3kr for Camille Levesque. Thomas Levesque trains the winner for Pierre Levesque. The favored 0.5/1 odds Belebrine (4f In Love With You-Ebrine) was second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Yannick A. Briand. Third was 15.5/1 Belle Katie (4f Oiseau de Feux-Quelle Katie) for jockey Alexandre Abrivard. Vodka du Wallon (6f Onyx du Goutier-Neige des Hameaux) won the Quinte+ Prix de Salvanhac (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) timed in 1.13.6kr. J-M Bazire teamed this winner for owner/ytrainer J-M Baudouin. 2.6/1 Viva Lover (6f Look de Star-Kaline Love) was second for Matthieu Mottier with 35/1 Ultra des Landes (7f Baccarat du Pont-Justice d’Or) third for trainer/driver Sebastien Hardy. The €36,000 Prix de Juvignac over 2700 meters drew 18 starters and produced a victory for 1.15.8kr timed, 4.8/1 odds, Baraka (4f Love You-Polenska) teamed by trainer Franck Nivard. Comte P de Montesson owns Baraka, a narrow surging winner. 2.6/1 Barbie de Janiero (4f Oiseau de Feux-Orie de Janeiro) was second for Eric Raffin and a length back was 4.7/1 Bartavelle du Rib (4f Diamant Gede-Medde) handled by trainer J.Cl. Dersoir for Ecurie Jeloca. Attacus (5g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) took the €52,000 Prix de Charroux for Eric Raffin at 2.6/1 odds. The Sebastien Guarato trainee is owned by J-M Machet and was timed in 1.13.3kr over the 2100 meter autostart course, defeating 17 rivals. 78/1 Attila d’Auvillier (5g Hermes du Buisson-Pepite de Gautiers) was second for Gabriel Gelormini ahead of 32/1 Anissio Bello (5m Orlando Vici-Melissa Bella) for owner/trainer/driver L.Cl. Abrivard. Thomas H. Hicks  

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