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Belina Josselyn (4f Love You-Lezira Josselyn-Workaholic) scored a 1.14.6kr victory in tonight’s harness racing Gr. III Prix Heraclite (€80,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 European four year-old female starters). The 1.9/1 favorite was teamed by trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Yvon Bernard. Bazire and Belina Josselyn closed quickly to score the third straight win, now for career earnings of €121,230. Beautes de Bailly (4f Vivaldi de Chenu-Oceane de Bailly) was second at 14/1 for Franck Nivard for trainer Bruno Bourgoin, with third to Bergame Madrik (4f Prince d’Espace-Houlba de Pouline) at 61/1 for reinsman Francois Lagadeuc.   Beau Gamin (4m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) staged a rousing stretch drive to win the Prix Camilla (€80,000 purse, Gr. III European for four year-old males, 12 starters) clocked in 1.14.3kr for Eric Raffin. The trainer is Fabrice Souloy for owner Ecurie J. Michel Rancoule. Beguin Meslois (4m Roc Meslois-Ingenlosite) was a 3/1 second for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche ahead of Biwa Nectar (4m Nectar-Nike) at 15/1 for Franck Nivard. The winner increased his lifetime earnings to €225,190. The Vincennes feature this day was the Gr. II Prix Kalmia (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, nine three year-old starters) and 4/5 favorite Captain Crazy (3m Quaro-Quick Scarlet) was an impressive open lengths winner clocked in 1.12.7kr . He scored victory number five in six career starts for trainer Fabrice Souloy, owner Ecurie le Tremont and reinsman Tony LeBeller. Today’s win increased his earnings to €138,600. Second was Canari Match (3m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostral) at 5/1 for Franck Ouvrie ahead of Cocktail Meslois (3m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Mesloise) and trainer/driver Pierre Belloche at 23/1. This day at Hyeres their featured Prix Marisol (€32,000 purse, 2750 meters, 12 starters) went to 4.6/1 odds Tempo de Carless (8m Grisdi de Carless-Joie de Carless) clocked in 1.15.4kr for David Bekaert for trainer/owner Philippe Mortagne. The victory raised the winner’s earnings to €305,580. 9.8/1 Saphir des Loups (9g Millenium Wood-Grais du Debuche) was next for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch ahead of 5/1 Reve d’Ete (10g Hulk des Champs-Grande Justice) and trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. Thomas Hicks  

Talented horseman Anton Golino trains a team of six horses and all are trotters. Therefore it is no surprise that with a number of harness racing features for the square-gaiters programmed in New South Wales over the next fortnight that the 34-year old will be well represented. This Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle Golino will have a runner in the Gr. 1 NSW Trotters Oaks and the Gr. 3 La Coocaracha. My Tribeca (late name Tribeca) will represent the stable in the Oaks and Golino is excited by her long term prospects. "My Tribeca was bred in the Northern Hemisphere so she is giving away six or seven months in age to most of her rivals but I think she might develop into something special," said Golino. "She is unbelievably well bred by Goetmals Wood, a champion French stallion from the Italian mare Image by Coktail Jet and her second dam won a lot of money, I went to France last year and leading French trainer Jean Etienne Dubois had this filly that he wanted to race in Australia and I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to train her." My Tribeca trialled behind unbeaten pacer Our Waikiki Beach last week and recorded a personal time of 1:58.8 for the mile. "I think she has the ability to develop into a top horse eventually, she doesn't have the race experience of many of her rivals on Saturday night and I'm not in any major rush with her. "After Saturday night I will take her to Melbourne in a fortnight for the Victorian Trotters Oaks." In the Gr. 3 La Coocaracha Golino will produce lightly raced mare Arboe. The daughter of Love You had a preparation in New Zealand with Craig and Aimee Edmonds before heading to Australia. "She's got untapped ability, Arboe is getting better with the experience and although she is a slow learner she does have a very big motor. "Pat Driscoll owns her and I think with a bit of time she is going to develop into a really talented trotter, I want to take her to Victoria in a fortnight as well and she will compete in the Bacardi Lindy Trot for the four and five year old mares." Greg Hayes

May 13, 2015 - The Caen harness card today included the Prix Henri Balliere (Gr. II monte, €120,000 purse, 2450 meters, 11 starta cingers after one scratch) that showcased recent double winner Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato, trainer. But, this day Booster Winner had little kick after a good in-behind trip that saw him settled third and fourth throughout. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) rallied strongly off the final bend to score comfortably at 7.6/1 odds clocked in a good 1.12.4kr by two lengths over the 3/5 favorite Booster Winner. Francois Lagadeuc rode the winner for Jean-Michel Baudouin, trainer, with Best of Jets winning for the fourth career time in 25 starts. Third went to Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle-Neva du Rosier) piloted by Clement Frecelle for trainer J-L Bigeon, off at 18/1. Starters: Blooma d’Heripre, Franck Nivard Buckingham Park, Mathieu Abrivard Bingo Star, Adrien Lamy Bergame Madrik, Alexandre Abrivard Bourbon Somolli, David Thomain Brise de l’Alba, P-Y Verva Biscuit Delavera, Clement Frecelle Best of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc Bocage d’Ortige, Yoann Lebourgeois Beauty Turgot, Anthony Barrier Booster Winner, Eric Raffin The Gr. I monte Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (€150,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters after one scratch) also was featured at Caen. Six were disqualified for miscues but the 4/5 favorite took victory. Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) scored by eight lengths for pilot Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Antonio De Sousa, clocked in 1.15.3kr. The winner recorded career win number four in nine appearances. 17.6/1 Conga (3f Goetmals Wood-See You Soon) was second for Damien Bonne, also trainer, ahead of 22/1 Cargese de Blary (3f Prince d’Espace-Ines de Blary) with Mathieu Abrivard up. Starters Camerone, Wilfried Jehanne Copernic, Antoine Wiels Caline de Faco, Julien Raffestin Cosette, P-Y Verva Concorde, Franck Nivard Caennaise, Camille Levesque Conga, Damien Bonne Cash Phil, Yoann Lebourgeois Cobra, David Thomain Captain Lyl, Elisabeth Allaire Cargese de Blary, Mathieu Abrivard Colibri Madrik, Adrien Lamy Corsica, Anne Barthelemy Che Jenilou, Eric Raffin This day at Marseille-Borely the Prix de Marignane (€32,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Truman Dairpet (8g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) at 5/2 odds for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. The 2.7/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) was second for trainer/driver Mikael Cormy ahead of 7/2 Tonight Cam (8m Orlando Vici-Nouba Vinoir) with trainer Yannick A. Briand aboard. The winner was clocked in 1.13.3kr. The Prix de Septemes Les Vallons (€19,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, eight starters) was clocked in 1.15.9kr by the winner Cloane du Vivier (3f Repeat Love-Royale du Vivier) at 2.8/1 for Nicolas Ensch. This one is trainer by Y-A Briand for well-respected breeder/owner Jean Yves Lecuyer. Second at 1.8/1 was very well-bred Calita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) that is owned/bred by Jean Pierre Dubois and reined by trainer Yves Boireau. Trainer Briand drove the third place horse, Cirrus de Banville (3m Rieussec-Perle de Vonnas), off at 5/2 odds. Thomas H. Hicks

Former Elitloppet winner Nahar (SWE) and Voltigeur de Myrt were added to the Elitloppet field today. Stall Sedin’s Nahar, a gelded son of Love You, won last weekend’s V75 Gold impressively for Robert Bergh. Nahar has banked 11.4SEK million. Voltigeur de Myrt is a six year-old son of Opus Viervil, owned and trained by Roberto Donati. He has competed at the highest international levels and earned 8.9SEK million. The Elitloppet 2015 field is shown below with six entrants still to be confirmed. Timoko, FR Maven, US On Track Piraten, SWE Digital Ink, SWE Wind Of The North, US BBS Starlight, NO Aladin d’Ecajeul, FR Support Justice, NO Nahar, SWE Voltigeur de Myrt, FR Thomas H Hicks

Sweden’s Just Magic (7g Love You-Sweet Release) with Christophe Martens up took today’s Grand Prix de la Soie (€40,000 purse, 2700 meters, 13 European starters) clocked in 1.15.7kr at 2.6/1 odds. Spirou d’Haulefois (9g Jolmeto-Carmen d’Hautefois) was second at 5/1 with third to the J-M Bazire trained and reined Urbain de Guez (7g Indy de Vive-Nore de Guez) as 1.9/1 odds favourite. Also on the Lyon card was the Prix de Strasbourg (€42,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 starters) and Atilano (5m Quatre Juillet-Oluflo) scored in 1.16kr for P-Y Verva at 6.2/1. Vespa de Bourgogne (6f Echo-Gym du Bois Morin) and Avenir (5m Kiwi-Musique de Mai) trailed the winner. The same evening at Vincennes saw Cala Rossa (3f Lets Go Along-Lee Nova) and Julien Dubois take the Prix Marzim (€42,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 starters) in 1.16.6kr for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and Philippe Moulin, trainer. The winner at 3.6/1 defeated Coral Sea (3f Niky-Quest For Love) and Cova Josselyn (3f Love You-Sezira Josselyn), the latter the 9/10 favorite for J-M Bazire. Thomas H Hicks

May 9, 2015 - Today’s V75 hasrness racing card at Umaker was a dandy, headed up by the Gold Division victory by former Elitloppet winner Nahar (10g Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie) and trainer/driver Robert Bergh. Timed in 1.11.6kr over 1640 meters autostart, the veteran rallied from near the back to sweep around the field in late stretch for owner Stall Sedin HB. Nahar has 34 career wins in 98 starts for earnings of over 11.3SEK million. Knows Nothing (6m Kadabra-Savvy Yankee-Balanced Image) was second for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl ahead of Panne de Moteur (7h Credit Winner-Jalopy-Donerail), making his initial 2015 start, handled by Orjan Kihlstrom. The winner earned 200,000SEK first money. While Nahar is a likely Elitloppet invitee, the race leadership wants to wait until all major weekend races are complete before extending more bids.  The co-feature Berth Johanssons Memorial (2140 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to the winner) went to Cool Keeper (5m Broadway Hall-Missys Go Go-Yankee Glide) and driver/trainer Leif Witasp, timed in 1.12.6kr with a very quick last 1140 meters. The winner recorded career victory 12 in 29 starts for earnings of over 1.9SEK million. Stall Mamsen owns the winner. Special Topgear (5m Love You-Pan Seared Tuna-Andover Hall) was next for John Ostman with Screen Height (5m Scarlet Knight-Rose The Goal-Armbro Goal) third for Torbjorn Jansson. Jerry Riordan’s trainee Rod Stewart was sixth, Creatine eighth and Vasterbo Loveboat ninth as these well-regarded starters failed to hit the board. Creatine was fourth, parked with cover, before making a three wide backstretch move that stalled after reaching second. The Silver Division (2140 meters autostart, 125,000SEK to winner) went to Coldtown (6g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) with Jorma Kontio up, timed in 1.13kr for trainer Timo Nurmos. The pace was well-rated in this event. Stein Daylight (7m Steinlager-Danilova-Anders Crown) was second for trainer/driver Leif Witasp with US bred Talk The Talk (5f Donato Hanover-Letsjusttalkaboutme-Self Possessed) third with Ulf Ohlsson driving for trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Radysin America was eighth after a parked with cover trip with dead cover. Thomas H. Hicks

May 3, 2015 -  Today (Sunday) the Gr. I International UET Masters Grand Premio Lotteria was conducted at Ippodromo Agnano (Naples). Five heats were presented each over 1600 meters autostart with three eliminations followed by a consolation and harness racing finale. The total purse was €506,000 with the three eliminations carrying a purse of €20,900, the consolation €42,900 and finale €400,400. The three eliminations produced the following winning results: Chapeau (6m Love You-Crown Tess-Crowntron) with Christophe Martens in 1.11.8kr over Radiofreccia FL (5m Ganymede-Castilia-Lemon Dra) and Federico Esposito Vincennes (7f Spotlite Lobell-Lina Trot-Firm Tribute) with Roberto Andreghetti in 1.11.1kr over Mack Grace SM (8m CC’s Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal) and Roberto Vecchione. Vincennes is trained by Fabrice Souloy. Neste Effe (8m Naglo-Etna Sec-Viking Kronos) and Roberto Vecchione in 1.12.7kr to defeat Pascia’Lest (6m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) and Andrea Guzzinati Twelve contested the consolation with that victory for Pace del Rio (6m Varenne-Urben d’Asolo-Ata Star L)  and Santo Mollo with a rallying stretch score in 1.11.5kr over Nonant le Pin (8f Goetmals Wood-Blazing Janice-Pine Chip) and Alessandro Gocciadoro The €400,400 finale was a dandy with Mack Grace SM setting that pace for Pippo Gubellini to late stretch when that pair were overcome by pocket sitting Vincennes and Roberto Andreghetti by less than a length clocked in 1.11.8kr. Chapeau sat the death seat before tiring late and going offstride when touched by the winner. Mack Grace SM was seeking his fourth Lotteria victory in a superb career. Thomas Hicks

April 28, 2015 - The afternoon harness racing card at Saint Galmier this day featured the Quinte+ and the Grand Prix du Centre Est. Ubanji (7g Jag de Bellouet-Perle d’Aunou) took the Quinte+ Prix de la Chorale de Roanne (€35,000, 2650 meters, 15 European starters) in 1.15.5kr for teamster Franck Nivard at 6/1. Tantale de Fol (8g Impact du Rib-Ivorine Folle) landed second for Serge Peltier at 12/1 with 5.2/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) home third for Mikael Cormy. The card at Saint Galmier featured the Grand Prix du Centre Est. (€100,000, 2650 meters, international 10 starters) and 34/1 Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong-Noelle de Massy) took the win in 1.15.1kr for Y-A Briand. 40/1 Ulk Medoc (7m Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) rallied for second for Franck Corbineau with third to 1.6/1 favorite Swedishman (9g Gogo-Volganc) and trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. The Vincennes featured Prix Rene Palyart (€120,000, Gr. II monte, 8 starters, 2175 meters) went to Eric Raffin teamed Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), victorious as 3/5 favorite. Clocked in 1.12.2kr the winner handled Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) at 8/1 with third to 23/1 Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castille-Neus du Rosier) with L.C. Frecelle up. On the Vincennes evening undercard Cottie Cash (3f Sam Bourbon-Kidea) took the Prix Arachne (€37,000, 10 starters, 2200 meters) with Mathieu Abrivard up, clocked in 1.16.7kr for trainer Philippe Allaire. Off at 1.2/1 odds the winner defeated 135/1 Chance des Douits (3f Power Jet-Pony Girl) and 88/1 Cahora Fonciere (3f Severino-Quietude Fonciere). The winner is from Kidea a 1998 foal and dam of Ready Cash and six winners from nine foals, three with earnings in excess of €100,000. KIdea is by Extreme Dream and has Workaholic, Star’s Pride and Kimberland (Nevele Pride) represented in the pedigree. Thomas H. Hicks

Harness racing can be cruel at times as Studholme Bloodstocks Brian West well knows after he lost the services of his second open class trotting mare in the space of three months when he had to retire the outstanding trotting mare Paramount Queen recently. Brian had to pull the plug on the racing career of the outstanding trotting racemare Superbowlcheerleader earlier in the season and now he has lost the services of Paramount Queen after she had a heart fibrillation during a race at Addington on March 27th. Even though Paramount Queen won eight races and $122,612 in New Zealand racing at the highest levels it was a career littered with top performances against the best in which she was repeatedly placed in a lot of the classics At two Paramount Queen was beaten into third in both the New Zealand Trotting Stakes and the New Zealand Sires Stakes Final behind Sheemon and Habibti and then ran third to Royal Aspirations and Sheemon in the Harness Jewels. At three Paramount Queen won the $25,000 Hambletonian Trot over the boys before running second to Habibti in the New Zealand Oaks and third behind Prime Power and Sheemon in the Harness Jewels. Her best run at four was a close fourth to Sheemon in the Harness Jewels and she started her five year old season with a hiss and a roar with two outstanding wins at Auckland which was followed by a career best run for second to Stent in the Waikato Flying Mile where she was credited with a placed time of 1:54.6. Another close second at Auckland where she was only out of the money once in eight starts followed before the heart fibrillation problem raised its ugly head to stop her career just when it looked like she had come of age as a racehorse. A daughter of Love You, Paramount Queen is bred to be way above average. She is a half sister to the former outstanding age group trotter Paramount Geegee 1:57.3 ($561,342) and her dam Paramount Star (7 wins) ($54,130) was a half sister to the former open class trotter Paramount Jack 1:58.6 (12 wins) Brian West has been having a great season with his three year pacing fillies with both Start Dreaming 1:58.1 ($50,650) and On The Town 1:56.7 ($23,306) looking legitimate New Zealand Oaks chances but his luck with his high class trotting mares has been all bad. Paramount Queen has now settled in at Brian's showplace breeding establishment at Coe's Ford and we can no doubt look forward to seeing her progeny at the Premier yearling sales in years to come. Harnesslink Media

Oropuro Bar (7m Love You-Ubatuba Oaks-Armbro Goal) took Easter Sunday’s Torino featured Gr. I Premio Sociata Campo di Mira Fioro (€110,000, 1600 meters autostart), rallying from back off the last bend to victory clocked in 1.12.7kr for Roberto Andreghetti. Pocket sitting Pascia’Lest (6m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) escaped late to garner second for Andrea Guzzinati ahead of veteran pacestetter Mack Grace SM (9m CC’s Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal) and Roberto Vecchione. This 55 time career winner raced gamely on the front holding off challengers until late in the lane. Today’s Lotteria Wild Card, named the Premio G. Compili (€13.200, 1600 meters autostart, two eliminations and raceoff) at Napoli, went to Rombo di Cannone (5m Varenne-Cannoniera-Diamond Way) clocked in 1.11.4kr for the raceoff victory teamed by V.P. Dell’Annunziata. This one took his elimination in 1.12.3kr. In the two-horse raceoff he defeated Miguel WF (9m Super Arnie-Dinastia OR-Lemon Dra) that won his earlier test in 1.14.6kr. Thomas H. Hicks

Another feature race on the big night of harness racing at Addington on Friday night is the New Zealand Trotting Derby and it has thankfully at least drawn a field with double figure runners. Here is our preview of the New Zealand Trotting Derby. 1) Starlight Starbright - Starts: 22    Wins: 2   Secs: 0    Thirds: 5    Life: $14,907 Has shown a lot of ability at times but not consistently and not at this level. Several outside him can really leave the gate and he could end up four or five deep from barrier one which negates any advantage the draw gave him. We can't see him in four. Not for us 2) Springbank Eden - Starts: 15    Wins: 2   Secs: 1    Thirds: 1    Life: $12,621 Another one plagued by inconsistency throughout his career but has been slowly getting better and has something to offer here. Can get off the gate good so we think he will look to lead and then trail the favourite Prince Fearless. Still have doubts he can run in four even from the trail but draw and mobile give him an outside chance of running in the first four. 3) Prince Fearless - Starts: 10    Wins: 3    Secs: 3    Thirds: 0    Life: $89,144 We think the extra distance this week in the Derby is what this horse has been crying out for. He is a dead set stayer and as he showed on Cup day the 2600 metres will hold no fears for him. Privately timed to run his last 2400 metres that day in 2:58.6 and still won without being driven out. Should lead and hard to see how they run him down from there. Top pick for us. 4) Wanna Play - Starts: 16    Wins: 2   Secs: 3    Thirds: 4    Life: $59,795 Has had a few issues since going to Auckland but went a lot more like her old self last week Very good stayer so 2600 metres will suit down to the ground. Really good run last week where she came from last at the 400 metres to run fifth after having absolutely no luck in the running. Trifecta and first four player with run to suit. 5) BD Love - Starts: 6    Wins: 3    Secs: 1    Thirds: 1    Life: $27,504 Talented son of Love You who is a dead set stayer like most of the Love You's so the 2600 metres is right up his alley. Can do work in his races and still keep going so can be put in the race when ever Ken Barron wants. A couple here may have the wood on him ability wise but won't be far away. First four player for us. 6) Speeding Spur - Starts: 12    Wins: 6    Secs: 2    Thirds: 2    Life: $61,946  Has been in great form all season with his only defeat in six starts coming in the Hambletonian at Ashburton to Prince Fearless. Smart win over 2700 metres last time at Alexandra Park so the distance is no worry for him. If he had drawn inside of Prince Fearless he would have had a great chance of rolling the favourite but being out at six makes it tough. Huge chance regardless so include in everything. 7) Habibti Ivy - Starts: 6    Wins: 3    Secs: 0    Thirds: 2    Life: $33,495  Easy win in the Trotting Oaks last week and extra distance here won't worry her at all. Ran on very strongly at the start before that to finish right with Prince Fearless and Monbet and is still on the improve so a live chance here. Appeals as a real out and out stayer so she is a must include for all combination takers. Include in everything. 8) Soney Beatt - Starts: 18    Wins: 2   Secs: 2    Thirds: 2    Life: $14,965 Not the worst in this field and he is one that will appreciate the extra distance. However the draw of barrier eight coupled with the quality of the field makes this mission impossible in our view. Not for us. 9) Fiery Mountain Girl - Scratched                                                                            SECOND LINE 10) Monbet - Starts: 11    Wins: 6    Secs: 1    Thirds: 1    Life: $86,807 This is one horse that needed a draw and one on the second line behind an average beginner is the last thing the Hopes would have been looking for. Outstanding talent who with any luck can still play a big part here. Driver Ricky May will be hoping that Prince Fearless and Speeding Spur go to war a long way out because if that happens then it will bring Monbet right into the contest late in the piece. Include in everything. 11) Sky Commander - Starts: 8    Wins: 2   Secs: 1    Thirds: 5    Life: $10,320 Nice horse in the making who has great manners and a big motor. A recent addition to the huge Merv and Meg Butterworth racing team, this race may have come to early for him in our view. Handled the gate really well at his only start behind it so could get a cosy run through behind Springbank Eden. A few here would look to have the wood on him at this stage but one to take notes on for the future. SELECTIONS From the draw it is hard to go past Prince Fearless. He has gate speed and should lead and from there he is very very hard to beat. Speeding Spur is going great  but is going to have lift even further to win here. Still a clear second pick from the draw. But for his bad draw Monbet would be vying for favouritism here and should he get a run to suit is still a major player. Throw in Wanna Play, BD Love and Habibti Ivy for trifectas and first fours. Harnesslink Media

In the sport of harness racing in New Zealand, Paul Nairn has a reputation second to none when it comes to producing age group trotters. Tonight at Addington in the New Zealand Trotting Oaks for three year old fillies, Paul showed once again why he is held in such high regard by his fellow trainers when he produced Habibti Ivy at just her sixth lifetime start to win the Group 2 event. Away well from barrier one for driver Blair Orange, Habibti Ivy handed up to the favourite Arya after 400 metres and got a lovely trip on her back until the corner where she burst up the passing lane and was way too smart winning by 2 + 3/4 lengths without having to be driven out. Sunny Ruby after a lovely run three back on the inner flew home late for second in front of a very game Fiery Mountain Girl who sat parked for the entire trip with Arya fading late for a disappointing fourth. Paul Nairn was confident of a big run from the daughter of Love You. " Her work has been super and I was confident she would go close." " The secret is not to over race them leading into the big races like this." " We may look at the Derby now and safely through that we will have to have a serious look at going to the three year old races at Auckland," Paul said. Driver Gavin Smith was rapt with the run of Sunny Ruby for second. " She is a lovely filly to drive and gives you a great feel." "Fred Fletcher is great with young trotters and she is beautifully mannered"  "I got a great run following Habibti Ivy and she finished it off really well," Gavin said. John Dunn was rapt with the run of Fiery Mountain Girl. " She has gone huge tonight." " To be parked every inch of the race and still fight on for third was a great run for an inexperienced filly like her." " I'm over the moon with the run," John said. Paul Nairn is never short of a smart age group trotter and in Habibti Ivy he has another topliner. Harnesslink Media  

With five group races at the harness racing meeting at Addington on Friday night, punters are spoilt for choice with so many great races in prospect. One of the most even is the $40,000 Group 2 Trotting Oaks which has drawn together a quality field of three year old trotting fillies and picking a winner is fraught with difficulties. Several of the favoured runners have drawn poorly which has tended to even the playing field a bit. One of those who has been disadvantaged by the draw is the very smart daughter of Love You in Yagunnakissmeornot who will start from three on the second line. Yagunnakissmeornot is the winner of seven races and has never been out of the first three in thirteen lifetime starts. Trainer Sean McCaffrey was philosphocial about the draw when he spoke to Harnesslink today. " Yeah she has got the visitors draw but i couldn't be happier with her going into the race." " She is actually a lot better with a sit so the draw may work out well for us." " She can run in a bit on the corners left handed but I don't think it will be an issue on the bigger Addington track."  " I have done my bit so now it is up to Maurice," Sean said with a laugh. Yagunnakissmeornot is a noted front runner but Sean says that is more to do with keeping the young filly out of trouble more than anything else. " With young trotters it pays to keep them out of the wars so we have led in a lot of our races with her." " The last couple of starts we have taken a sit and and she has really sprinted when she has got clear, Sean said. When quizzed about who he saw as the major danger on Friday night, Sean was quick with the answer. " Any runner in blue with the grey stars is a runner to be wary of" Sean said. Sean McCaffrey and Maurice McKendry are a combination that has had a lot of success over the years in age group trotting classics and in Yagunnakissmeornot they have another filly capable of adding to that great record. Harnesslink Media

Most harness racing enthusiasts in New Zealand headed to the sales this week at both Auckland and Christchurch and a lot took home a yearling or two. With the dust just settling on the two days at the Premier Sale in Christchurch, we thought it a good time to assess the performance of our leading sires at that sale along with a few of the other sires who aspire to reach that level. All the numbers used are correct at the present time but may vary slightly as more of the passed in horses are sold post sale The elephant in the room in any review such as this is of course Bettor's Delight. He just completely dominated both days at Christchurch both in numbers sold and the average over the two days. Bettor's Delight  Number sold - 49 Overall average - $51,091 Colt average - $56,645 Filly average - $34,291 The surprising thing from those statistics is the big gap between his colts and his fillies. Bettor's Delight is renowned for leaving great fillies so to us the gap was surprising. Apart from that what can you say. A great sire who continues to dominate the sales and nothing happened in the two days at Christchurch to suggest that any change to the status quo is coming anytime soon. The next most successful sire with big numbers was the stallion that Bettor's Delight dethroned from the top spot in the yearling sales averages in Christian Cullen. His numbers held up well considering all the challengers he is facing on the siring front. Christian Cullen Numbers sold - 18 Overall average - $37,611 Colt average - $40,133 Filly average - $25,000 Considering where his service fee presently sits, Christian Cullen represents great value on yesterdays results and that is not something we were able to say just a few years ago. Every year the pundits predict his demise as a sire of significance but every year the buyers continue to put their hand up for the Christian Cullens and for big money to boot. Another elite sire who had a good sale was Mach Three. Mach Three Numbers sold - 20 Overall average - $30,700 Colt average - $32,062 Filly average - $29,791 This was one sire who had little difference in the average between his fillies and his colts. The top price of $71,000 was the same for both his best filly and colt and most of the leading trainers brought one or two by him. Has been doing a great job over the last few years but is probably overdue another high class colt in the next twelve months or else the so called experts will be suggesting his best days are behind him. American Ideal Numbers sold - 22 Overall average - $15,681 Colt average - $19,166 Filly average - $11,500  Considering the great last twelve months that his stock have had on the racetracks of Australasia, it was a real surprise to us and no doubt to vendors as well that he struggled as much as he did. Even more confusing was the lack of interest in his fillies when they have been his flag bearers in New Zealand over the last twelve months. Sometimes there is a lag in racetrack performance being converted into sales success and to us that is the most logical explanation here. Courage Under Fire Numbers sold - 8 Overall average - $32,375 Colt average - $34,857 Filly average - $16,000 Just continues to fly under the radar of most of the breeders in New Zealand but not the buyers thats for sure. Only sold one filly so that average is misleading but his colts were highly sought after throughout the two days. Has shown repeatedly that he can compete with any sire in the sales ring but his number of mares served in New Zealand continue to decline. He only served nineteen mares in 2014 so some vendors who have a foal by him may be in for a good return at next years sales. Art Major Numbers sold - 14 Overall average - $29,600 Colt average - $28,833 Filly average - $30,187  Considering the run that Art Major is having on both sides of the Tasman, the lack of big money for most of his yearlings took us by surprise. He did have one six figure filly but his second best yearling price wise only made $45,000. Didn't appear to us to be anything amiss with the yearlings in question and the only answer we could come up with was they weren't Bettor's Delights. Amazing result really when you look at the super season his three year olds are having in New Zealand Somebeachsomewhere Numbers sold - 5 Overall average - $48,000 Colt average - $55,000 Filly average - $20,000 First crop of any size in New Zealand and these yearlings were conceived via fresh semen. Without exception they were good looking types and were keenly sought after. Going by the type of yearling produced by Somebeachsomewhere at this years sales,  we could be about to see why the North Americans hold the son of Mach Three in such high esteem. Rock N Roll Heaven Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $30,250 Colt average - $40,000 Filly average - $20,500 They all were nice types but what surprised us was his only filly made just $20,500. The fillies have been the ones flying the flag for Rock N Roll Heaven in North America and in Australasia so the emphasis on the colts was a surprise. Look very much like clones of their grand sire Rock N Roll Hanover which is a good thing in our book though attitude did seem an issue at times with a couple of them. Sportswriter Numbers sold - 5 Overall average - $26,300 Colt average - $27,625 Filly average - $21,000 The whole five of them were lovely types and we thought they under sold when you looked at the pedigrees and the individuals at the sale. All of them made at least $20,000 but only one kicked on from that to make $46,000. There are question marks over whether he can leave that elite level colt or filly but you couldn't fault the yearlings in Christchurch and we were a touch disappointed with the prices they made. Changeover Numbers sold - 10 Overall average - $11,550 Colt average - $12,333 Filly average - $10,375 Not the kind of sale he would have been looking for. He had his moments but his lack of classic winning horses from his first crop is starting to hurt him. All he needs is one or two top liners to appear and his stock will double in value over night. His overall numbers are great and everything else is on track but he does need those couple of stars and sooner rather than later. Love You Numbers sold - 4 Overall average - $28,875 Colt average - $28,875 A great result for a trotting sire to have four average over $28,000. They were keenly sought after when ever a Love You entered the ring. The only issue now is he only served 13 mares in 2014 and was unavailable this season so there will few of them at the sales in the next year or two. Muscle Mass Numbers sold - 13 Overall average - $16,923 Colt average - $16,625 Filly average - $17,400 A great return to New Zealand for the son of Muscles Yankee and he had a big sale considering his numbers and the fact some of the maternal families were ok but not sensational. A sire who is really on the up in North America but the only downside is this is his only crop in New Zealand to go through the sales and at this stage it will be his last as he hasn't shuttled for the last two years. Overview All the sires we have reviewed would in the main be satisfied with what they achieved at this years Premier sale in Christchurch. Some probably hoped to do a bit better and some probably did a bit better than they thought they would but the numbers for the sires we have covered are commendable. Some sires at this years Christchurch sales that we haven't reviewed here didn't help the overall sale on any level and you would have to question the value of continuing to present stock by them at what is meant to be a "Premier" sale. Harnesslink Media

February 15, 2015 - Today’s harness racing action in Italy was led by the Prix Locatelli (Gr. II, €45,100, 1600 meters autostart) at Torino with the 1.13.7kr victory by the lanky sorel Oneghin del Ronco (7m Love You - Talia del Ronco - Park Avenue Joe), his 21st in 67 career starts. He defeated Rodeo Drive OK (5f Conway Hall - Georgia Pines - Pine Chip) with Andrea Guzzinati aboard with third to Owen CR (7m Cantab Hall - Boemia CD - Lemon Dra) with Pietro Gubellini. Favored Mack Grace SM (9m CC’s Chuckie T - Ambro Gace SM - Armbro Goal) was fourth after a front end trip for Roberto Andreghetti, a 55 time winner in 105 starts for eanings esceeding €1.59 million. He faded late after strong pressure in the final quarter by the winner. At Napoli, their Prix Invitational (€13,200, 1600 meters autostart) went to Skyline Dany (4m Varenne - Celeste PL - Lemon Dra) with G.P Minnucci up. The winner now of 9 races in 22 starts was clocked in 1.12.1kr. Style by Lions (4m Southwind Vernon - Web Fish-Self Confident) was second. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 13, 2015 - Germany’s Chapeau (6m Love You - Crown Tess-Crowntron) won this evenings Quinte+ Prix de Barcelone (€55,000 purse, 17 European starters, 2925 meters distance handicap) at Cagnes sur mer. Christophe Martens handled the Victor Martens trainee for owner Renato Bruni, timed in 1.14.7kr, as the team overcame a 25 meter handicap to score easily at 1.6/1 odds. Chapeau secured career win 14 now for earnings of €266,806. 8/1 Tamarro (8g Opus Viervil-Kality Street) was second for trainer/driver David Bekaert, and owner Christophe Gallier, ahead of Ubine (7f Podosis-Ehrine) and trainer/driver/owner Yannick A. Briand at 5/1. Replay:  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 10.000.000 € - Numéro plus : 1897   Ordre :       740,00€   Désordre :       14,80€   Bonus 4 :       7,20€   Bonus 4sur5 :       3,60€   Bonus 3 :       2,40€   The evening’s Prix de Seville (€28,000, 14 male starters, 2700 meters autostart) went to 1.6/1 favorite Andover Jet (5g Prodigious - Delmonica Jet-Tarass Boulba) and trainer/driver Romain Derieux. Antonio De Sousa owns the winner of €81,620 and four career scores that was clocked in 1.16.1kr over the sloppy surface. Amigo de la Vallee (5g Look de Star - Joie de le Vallee) was second at 4/1 for the team of Christophe and Victor Martens. 27/1 Avenier (5m Kiwi - Musique de Mai) was third for reinsman David Bekaert and trainer Jerome Huguet. The co-featured Gr. III Prix de Jerez de la Frontera (€42,000, 2925 meters, nine starters) went to 10/1 Best Perle (4f So Lovely Girl - Perle Magique) and trainer/driver Romain Derieux, who scored a double this night. Timed in 1.17.9kr the winner defeated 4/5 favorite Buvetier (4m Goetmals Wood - Rapide Aventure) with Jean-Pierre Dubois up. Buvetier is trained by Yves Boireau for Dubois’ Ecurie D. 16/1 Brutus la Mesange (4m Lilium Madrik - Infante du Buisson) was next for trainer/driver David Bekaert. The Prix de Madrid (€30,000, 2925 meters, seven three year-olds) went to hard-charging 3.1/1 odds Chateauous (3m Sam Bourbon - Only Way) with owner Jean-Pierre Dubois aboard, timed in 1.19.6kr. He recorded career win number three for €42,950 earned. Jean Baudron is the trainer of this one and second finishing 3.3/1 stablemate Cristal Wood (3m Goetmals Wood - Topaze Bourbon-Love You) with David Bekaert up for Dubois’ Scuderia Bolgheri . Cash For Ever (3m Sam Bourbon - Salome-Love You) was third at 5/1 for Christophe Martens and trainer Victor Martens. Thomas H. Hicks

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