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Harness racing 3 year olds in the North Island always have a hard road to the Sires Stakes Final at Addington on Cup day with few suitable races to get them race hardened for the big day. Hence it is no surprise that on Friday night at Alexandra Park we find the three leading North island hopes lining up in a C2-C6 pace over 2200 metres. First and foremost is Hughie Green who has been in exceptional form this season and is rated the North's best hope of taking home the silverware on Cup day. However South Auckland trainer Ray Green has two 3 year olds that he thinks are more than capable of holding their own in the Sires Stakes Final in the Bettor's Delight colt, Strike The Gold and the Mach Three colt, Chachingchaching. The pair ran the quinella in the Sires Stakes heat at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago and did it in the style of horses who are right at the top of their game. Strike The Gold had a head to spare on that occasion over Chachingchaching as they cut out the 1700 metres in a very fast 2:02.3, a mile rate of 1:55.8 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.4 It was a performance that suggested that the duo will be very competitive come the Final on Cup day. Ray is happy with both of them heading into Friday night. "They are both well enough heading into Friday night but in saying that the run will help to tighten both of them up looking towards the final,"  Ray told Harnesslink today. "We are up against Hughie Green on Friday night  but there is no point in ducking him so I'm looking forward to the race actually," he said. Safely through Friday night, Ray's pair of top 3 year olds will not head south until late in the piece. " They can both have a run at the trials after Friday night just to top them off for Addington. "The plan at this stage is to fly them down a couple of days before the final,"  he said. Ray Green has fashioned a great record in the Sires Stakes final in the last five years, winning it with Sir Lincoln and running fourth with Besotted while Hawkeye Bromac was unplaced last year. Ray knows what it takes to takes to win the Sires Stakes Final and in Chachingchaching and Strike The Gold he has two 3 year olds capable of doing just that. Harnesslink Media  

The harness racing action moved to the trials at Rangiora yesterday after the huge day at Ashburton on Monday and saw a large batch of 2 year olds strut their stuff for the first time. The first of the 2 year old heats was for the fillies and all six runners were from the all conquering All Stars team. Arden's Choice by Panspacificflight did enough to grab the pacemaking Sophisticated Lady (Mach Three) in the last few metres but the whole six finished within a couple of lengths of each other in their first serious hitout. The overall time of 2:42.7 in the very windy conditions was what you would expect from a first up run and it should be upwards and onwards from here. The second of the 2 year old heats for colts and geldings saw a 3 year old added to the 5 runners in the form of Bettor Be Smooth and as you would expect he was too strong for the juveniles. Two All Stars runners in Chase The Dream (Bettor's Delight)  and Waikiki Beach (Somebeachsomewhere) closed in the straight but were still 1 1/4 and 2 1/2 lengths in arrears at the finish. However as the last 800 metres was cut out in a blistering 56.6 and 400 metres in 28.6, in less than ideal conditions, then both 2 year olds look to be very promising. In the third 2 year old heat which was also for colts and geldings, another of the All Stars team in Major Ben was very impressive. Slow to begin from the outside alley, Major Ben (Art Major) looped the field after 300 metres and was too strong afterwards winning by two lengths in the fastest time of the three heats of 2:37.2. with closing sectionals of 58.6 and 28.5 Stablemate Lazarus (Bettor's Delight) made ground late to grab second from Audi Hare (Mach Three) from the Michael House barn. Major Ben was easily the biggest of the 2 year olds on display yesterday but seems to have speed to match his size. There was plenty of talented horseflesh in some of the other heats yesterday and this is how we saw them. Isaiah looked very forward as he nabbed a game Venus Serena in his heat which was cut out in a 1:59.8 mile rate with smart sectionals in the conditions of 56.8 and 28.1 Both look ready to rumble come Cup week Itz Bettor To Win made ground well behind the first two for third and can't be far away from making his 3 year old debut. Ancient Moonlight and Cut Loose were very impressive in a C0 heat, clearing out a long way from home with only half a head separating them at the finish. The overall time of 2:30.7 was excellent in the conditions and both horses look to be early winners on that run. Ranfurly Rulz looked forward to resume when winning his heat in a 1:59.8 mile rate when the wind was at its worst and after he had done all the work in front. Princess Galleon trialed again like a trotter who is going to win one at short notice when she cleared out by five lengths in her heat. Webb Ellis and Highview Freddy were only separated by a half head in their heat and both look ready to win a maiden at short notice. Overall apart from the wind, it was a day that threw up several smart horses for racing around New Zealand Cup week Harnesslink Media

In 2004 a young Emmett Brosnan crossed the Tasman for one of harness racing’s premier events – the Inter Dominion at Moonee Valley. Brosnan’s journey was as a travelling companion for his trainer-father, Richard, who was contesting the trotters’ division with classy campaigner Pompallier. Entranced by the atmosphere and Australian lifestyle, Brosnan returned to New Zealand after the series knowing he would one day be back on the mainland. Five years later, Brosnan made the decision to forge a career in Australia, and now another five years down the track, he is among Victoria’s most talented and sort-after reinsman. Brosnan’s sister, Virginia, is a well-known veterinarian also based in Victoria. “I came over in 2004 for the Trotters’ Inter Dominion and really liked it over here,” Brosnan declared. “After that I always planned to come over to work and drive. “I’ve been here five years now and have no plans of heading back to New Zealand.” Working for prominent horseman Geoff Webster, Brosnan has formed a formidable partnership stable representative Will Mach My Word. The pair have combined 13 times for eight wins, including Horsham earlier this week. During his latest triumph, Will Mach My Word led throughout from barrier four to register a soft victory from Wheatsheaf Avaball and The Noble Steed. “Once he got to the front he was just doing it easily and won with plenty up his sleeve,” Brosnan said. “He is just perfect to drive and has come back a lot stronger and better this time in.” Confident the son of Mach Three can complete a smooth transition through the grades, Brosnan believes Will Mach My Word is capable of winning a major feature. “He has done everything asked of him so far,” Brosnan said. “He has stepped up twice again the real top ones and hasn’t disgraced himself. “I think he can race into better company and can win a nice race along the way.” PAUL COURTS

Kentuckiana Lodge NZ Cup contender Christen Me, after getting back on the outer, had to settle for third to the Allstars stablemates, Adore Me and Hands Christian in the $49,396 The Trust Ashburton Flying Stakes, but there was plenty to like about his performance. The reigning Grand Circuit champ, like triple NZ Cup winner and favourite Terror To Love, were left to pick up the crumbs as the Allstars stablemates controlled the front end. Adore Me made one of her best beginnings from the stand start to take up the early running, then eased to trail Hands Christian with 1200m to run. She finished best to score by three-quarters of a length in 2:56 for the stand start 2400m (1:58 mile rate), the leaders running their last 800m in 54.9s and final 400m in 26s. This was a NZ mares record, lowering Jamie’s previous mark of 2:57.2 set in 2006, but outside Terror To Love’s allcomers NZ mark of 2:54.9. Christen Me stormed home wide out for third, being timed over his last mile in 1:53.8, his closing 800m in 54s and his final 400m in a sensational 25.1s. “I knew that last quarter must have been something very fast,” Cran said. “We were going as fast as we can but couldn’t get past the top two. Dex said he (Christen Me) was powerful at the line.” In a remarkable feat, 90-year-old Charlie Roberts bred the trifecta, and co-races both Adore Me and Christen Me. Adore Me is a daughter of Bettor’s Delight and the former NZ mile record-holder Scuse Me (1:53.5), who Mr Roberts purchased at the end of her race career in North America and returned her to NZ for breeding. Both Hands Christian and Christen Me are brothers, being by Christian Cullen from Scuse Me’s Dream Away daughter, Splendid Dreams. At the presentation, Mr Roberts’ son-in-law Paul Kenny, also a co-owner of Adore Me, confirmed the mare had “put her best foot forward”, adding: “the win was totally unexpected, but a total thrill.” Bit Of A Legend, the second Kentuckiana Lodge runner in the Flying Stakes, began nervously from the inside, galloping away and settling back on the inner. He wasn’t able to feature, but still paced 2:57 for the stand start 2400m to finish last of the nine, and only five lengths from the winner. Two of Bit Of A Legend’s Gore co-owners, Pat and Margaret Kubala, had better luck the previous day at Forbury when Lightning Mach justified her short quote when resuming in a maiden pace. Despite starting from the back row, Lightning Mach enjoyed a good run through to improve three wide and was in front at the end of 600m and won untested by 3 1/4 lengths. The Mach Three-Righteous Franco filly, having her first start since May, paced the 2200m on the slushy track in 2:49 without having her earplugs pulled. She is one of four 3YO fillies for her trainer in Friday’s $25,000 Alabar Sires’ Stakes Fillies Series Heat at Addington, having drawn the inside of the second row. She is drawn to follow out one of her stablemates, Delightful Lana (ace), while Margarita (not entirely happy on the rain-affected track when a beaten favourite at Forbury last Sunday) and Bettor Think Twice will start from the outside of the front row. Courtesy Cran Dalgety Racing Stables - Check site here    

The Queens birthday harness racing meeting at Ashburton today had plenty of topliners involved but it was a first starter who stole the show early on. The Mach Three filly Classical Art was only having her third run away from her home at the All Stars base at Rolleston when she accounted for a game Brilliant Strike today. Classical Art only qualified two weeks ago at Addington when she won a 2000 mobile heat in a very quick 1:59 mr She followed that up at last Tuesday's Ashburton trials with a smart win over 2400 metres from a stand, sprinting over her last 400 metres in 27.2. In todays race she dropped off the gate early and slotted into the running line. Brilliant Strike went to the lead with a lap to run and driver Mark Purdon sent Classical Art  off in pursuit with 1100 metres to run. Brilliant Strike applied the pressure across the top and straightened for home three lengths to the good of Classical Art. Half way up the straight Brilliant Strike was holding but in the last 200 metres Classical Art ground her way past him for a great debut win. Classical Art paced the 2400 metres from a mobile in a smart 2:57.2, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 57.5 and 28. Mark Purdon was pleased with the first up effort. "That was a nice win first up but she did get the right trip," he said Mark was just as happy with how Classical Art behaved herself at her debut run. "She was a real handful earlier but has settled down this time in I am not sure just yet where we will go next," Mark said." Classical Art is bred to be good as the 3 year old daughter of Mach Three is the 3rd foal from the Artsplace mare in Art Lover 1:57.6 who is a daughter of the former brilliant racemare Under Cover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,923). She was purchased out of the 2013 Australasian Classic yearling sale for $31,000 by Mark Purdon on behalf of the Whitelocks of Palmeston North, who have had a long and successful association with the All Stars stable. Harnesslink Media  

A lot of New Zealand harness racing trainers will vary the program of their stable stars as they head to a race such as the New Zealand Cup. Many different paths are taken, all with the intent of arriving at the second Tuesday in November in peak condition. However to say that the path taken to this years Cup by last years runner up Fly Like An Eagle is outside of the square would be a massive understatement. In a surprise move, champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have decided that a C2 front mobile mile on "Ladies" day at Wairio will be the starting point for Fly Like An Eagle this season.  The son of Mach Three was in great from leading into last years New Zealand Cup which culminated with a close second to Terror To Love in the Cup itself but then the form of Fly Like An Eagle fell away due to a series of niggling issues especially on his Australian sojourn. Since being returned to the All Stars barn at the end of last season, Mark and Natalie have done a wonderful job in bringing Fly Like An Eagle back to the track in such great physical condition. Two trials this time in have seen him make sizzling beginnings and run big sectionals to be collared late in the piece by more seasoned runners such as Christen Me and Smolda. After yesterdays trial, the All Stars brains trust thought they even though his run had been super, Fly Like An Eagle had not been completely at the top of his game. "We are going to head to the mile at Wairio with him," said Mark "Natalie was thrilled with how he went but felt he was a bit down on confidence. He had a hard time of it in Australia last season and it has affected his confidence a touch so that is why he is at Wairio instead of Methven," he said. To be driven by in form stable reinsman Tim Williams, Fly Like An Eagle has drawn the outside barrier of seven in the small field and looks a class above them on paper. While running over a mile at Wairio might not be everyone's idea of a good lead up for a tough two mile on Cup Day, Mark and Natalie have shown again and again that they know how to get the best out of their charges.  Fly Like An Eagle showed last year he was up to winning a New Zealand Cup and he looks on track to again be a major player in this years event. Harnesslink Media

Three Of Clubs fought off challenges early and late on his way to an authoritative 1:51.1 harness racing triumph in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Doug McNair shot Three Of Clubs to the front from post position six, and he would chop out the opening quarter in 27 seconds flat. Silverhill Shadow (Chris Christoforou), who started from post ten, was unable to find an inside position, and he was forced to press on. McNair wasn’t about to let him clear, though, and left him on the outside through the 55 second half. Victor Bayama (Sylvain Filion) elected to tip three-wide on the far turn to try and get around Silverhill Shadow, and public choice Jet Airway (Randy Waples) tracked that move. However, they were both still very wide and still clearly behind Three Of Clubs as he cruised through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pocket-sitter Play It Again Sam and a wide Jet Airway had clear aim at Three Of Clubs the entire length of the stretch, but they didn’t have the pace to track him down, and Three Of Clubs went on to win by two lengths in 1:51.1. Play It Again Sam was the runner-up and Jet Airway had to settle for third. Prince Clyde (Trevor Henry) was the fourth-place finisher and Victor Bayama wound up fifth. “He had great gate speed last year, but we’ve had trouble with him all year,” McNair said of Three Of Clubs, who is headed to the Windy City Pace at Maywood Park in suburban Chicago. “He was getting bad gaited near the end of the mile. Kudos to the guys who work for dad, Dad (winning trainer Gregg McNair), and all the vets, they got this horse ready for the end of the year and they did a great job. I thought he had a good shot as long as he was good gaited. He can get off the wings good. It’s too bad he’s had trouble all year because he should have twice amount the money on his card he’s got.” Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns Three Of Clubs, a colt by Mach Three, with Hall of Famer Keith Waples of Durham and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario. Three Of Clubs got his second win from 12 efforts this year, and he now has six career victories. He has earned $255,480 on the campaign and $462,097 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

Lonny Stokes and J R's Hurricane scored a decisive victory in Saturday's top-class at Exhibition Park Raceway.   He was seeking his Third Straight win and Stokes was quick off the gate with the five-year-old son of Mach Three. He made every post a winning one including a final quarter of :27.3.   Time of the mile was 1:58.2 as he destroyed the field by twelve and three-quarter lengths. Wave That Banner and Dance Hanover made up the top trio. For J Rs Hurricane, it was his eleventh win on the season for owner Jean Charles Belliveau.   Also on Saturday, first time owner Michael Folkins won his first career race as an owner as Dale Spence Jr. guided Windemere Astro to victory in the afternoon's first race.   Mark Haig had two-wins on the program as he now has twenty-eight wins on the season at Exhibition Park Raceway. Next card will be contested on the holiday Monday, October 13th at 2:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Katy Perry, voted Australian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year after feature wins in both the $A297,000 Australasian Breeders Crown and $A50,505 Garrards Tatlow Stakes, is back in work at Kentuckiana Lodge. The precocious daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Karen Donna had five weeks out after going unbeaten in four Victorian starts, culminating in her big Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Melton on August 24. “She had a week off in Australia before coming home, which was helpful,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. “I would have liked her to have given her a longer break, but there are three nice races for her at Auckland in December.” Preceeding the Group One $150,000 Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final at Auckland on December 31 is the Group Two $75,000 Peter Breckon Memorial Ladyship Stakes, also at Alexandra Park, on December 19. There is also a lead-in race beginning the Auckland carnival. “She’s looking fantastic. She’s really grunted up and bulked up over the rear end,” Cran said. Last term in NZ, Katy Perry won the Listed $146,250 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final, and was the runnerup to Linda Lovegrace in the Group One $113,406 Woodlands Stud/Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic, both at Auckland in May. Her 2YO successes earned connections $367,603 from seven wins and two seconds in 10 starts. Theoretically, a faster Katy Perry should return this term, wearing two less straps. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor had to race her with spreaders in the Breeders Crown, a legacy of her shock fall in the preliminary before the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond at Cambridge on May 31. “She ended up with a big mark on the inside knob of the knee, which she just touched and made it worse.” “Thats all good now and this time in we’ll get rid of the spreaders. She’ll have less weight to carry anyway.” The Kentuckiana Lodge trainer has a strong support cast of 3Y0 fillies this term. “Its funny how its just fallen that way,” he said. Delightful Lana, who set a NZ mobile 2600m 2YO fillies record of 3:14.6 at Timaru in May and won twice in six juvenile starts, returned to the trials last Monday. Bettor Think Twice, from the same family as Venus Serena and also good enough to race in the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond, won once and was twice placed in eight juvenile starts. “She has improved a bit, which she has needed to do, as she was there last term, without being dominant,” Cran said. Lightning Mach, who won back-to-back Forbury starts in April-May from just four 2YO starts, and Supriya, who won once in four 2YO filly starts, are also likely to advance further this term. Then there’s diminuitive but speedy Margarita, who only began racing in July and has quickly won three from five, including a 1:57.9 Addington mile last week. “She has to keep improving to get up to the better ones but she hasn’t hit a brick wall yet,” said Cran, who trains her for wife, Chrissie. Margarita has been withdrawn from Rangiora on Sunday. She was transferred to the stand start 2600m C1 pace after her nominated mobile race was deleted. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing - Check site here

After an overpowering win last week in the afternoon's top-class, five-year-old J Rs Hurricane will be looking to repeat in this week's top conditioned harness racing event.   Lonny Stokes, no stranger to driving the son of Mach Three will be holding the lines of the pacer from post-four in the five horse top-class.   Man In Pink will once again have the advantage of the rail position for driver Mark Haig. Dance Hanover will have post-two for catch-driver Mike Barrieau for the Ultimate Stables of Moncton.   American Captain will leave from post-four for veteran driver and trainer Mike Campbell. Wave That Banner from the Eric Wilson stable will have the outside post-five. Starters will face-off for a purse of $ 1500.   This Saturday will also feature the final leg of Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping contest. Week twenty ( 20 ) will be contested and an overall winner announced next week.   Post time for Saturday's matinee card is slated for 2:00 P.M.   Scott Waddell

Seelster Farms announced today that their 2014 yearling videos are now available online at www.seelsterfarms.com Click here for the full draft of yearlings.  The farm’s entire 2014 yearling consignment will sell at the Forest City Yearling Sale on October 12 at the Western Fair Agriplex in London, Ontario.  Yearlings will be available for viewing at the Agriplex on Saturday, October 11.  This year’s consignment features the much-anticipated first crops of World Champion & Breeders Crown winner Big Jim p, 2, 1:49.1s ($1,544,580) and North America Cup winner Up The Credit p, 2, 1:51.4s; 3, 1:49s; 1:48.3s’ 13 ($1,331,623). An impressive group of first foals are featured in this season’s consignment, including: Absolut Seelster, an Angus Hall filly from Amazing Adventure 3, 1:56.2 ($50,432), the half sister to Peach Martini 3, 1:55f ($587,319). Bourbon Seelster, a Camluck filly from the full sister to Mr Apples p, 1:49 ($668,808). Evangelin Seelster, a Camluck filly from Eagle Kelly p, 2, 1:56.4h ($118,765). Ganacus Seelster, a Big Jim colt from the half sister to Goddesss Justin p, 3, 1:49.4f ($450,438). Kokanee Seelster, a Camluck colt from Kiddie Cocktail p, 3, 1:54.2 ($47,598), the half sister to Bikini Bottom p, 3, 1:51.1 ($531,229). Las Vegas Seelster, a Kadabra filly from the full sister to Miss Wisconsin 3, 1:55 ($525,551). Mayhem Seelster, a Mach Three filly from Macapelo Rose p, 3, 1:53.3f ($50,806), the half sister to Machapelo p, 1:51.2 ($593,973), Resistance Futile p, 4, 1:49.1s’ 14 ($277,078) & 2014 OSS Gold winner Capela p, 2, 1:53.1s’ 14 ($91,690). Mayhem Seelster Standout siblings to leading 2014 performers include: Nila Seelster, the Mach Three half sister to Nitro Seelster p, 4, 1:49.4f’ 14 ($103,973) & Nirvana Seelster p, 3, 1:52.3s’ 14 ($58,296). Toureg Seelster, the Shadow Play half brother to Titus Seelster p, 3, 1:51s’ 14 ($82,912). Tala Seelster, the Muscle Mass half sister to Traverse Seelster 1:51.2f’ 13 ($594,761).  

Harness racing two-year-old pacing colts bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the undefeated Reverend Hanover and the bargain yearling Drachan Hanover, captured both $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions tonight at Mohawk. The final division saw the lightly raced Reverend Hanover extend his unbeaten record to three with another impressive effort. In that split Mike Saftic and Seaforth were on top by the opening quarter in :26.1 but not for long as Chris Christoforou and Reverend Hanover quickly took over well before the :55.1 half. That colt opened up by the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and could not be caught down the stretch as he won handily in 1:51.4. Manny In Sports (Badlands Hanover) and Bob Ben And John (Sportswriter) were next across. A son of Sportswriter owned by West Wins Stables, Cambridge, Steve Calhoun, Chatham and Anthony Beaton, Waterdown, Ontario, Reverend Hanover has yet to taste defeat in his young career. This was the second OSS Gold win for the $24,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg and upped his earnings to $93,000 in just three starts. His paddock mate from Hanover Shoe Farms, Drachan Hanover, took the other division which saw Fighttothefinish fight for the lead and get on top by the first quarter in :26.3. Steve Condren and Go Daddy Go took over well before the :54.3 half and were at the three-quarters in 1:23. Drachan Hanover, who’d been stalking first up, took over the lead as they headed down the stretch and was at the wire first in 1:51.4 for Rick Zeron. Moonwriter and Sportskeeper, both sons of Sportswriter, were next across. A mere $4,500 yearling purchase at Harrisburg last fall, Drachan Hanover has now earned $95,150 from seven starts this year for owners Lloyd MacLean and Ken Rankin of Nova Scotia and trainer Marcel Barrieau. The colt is from a full sister to Driven To Win ($991,000). Two $105,000 divisions for the rookie pacing fillies were also contested tonight. Capela drove out quickly from post six in the second and quickest division but I Wonder Why had collared her by the opening quarter in :27.1. I Wonder Why continued to lead at the half in :55.4 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. In mid stretch James MacDonald found clearance from the pocket spot for Capela and that filly managed to haul down the pacesetter and trip the timer in 1:53.1. I Wonder Why (Ponder) was right there for second with Palette Tina (Allamerican Native) taking third. It was the first lifetime victory for Capela who had two seconds and two thirds heading into tonight’s contest. Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners Let It Ride Stable of Florida and RBH Ventures of New York, the Sportswriter filly is a half-sister to Machapelo ($593,000) and Resistance Futile ($277,000). The first division saw an upset when Sylvain Filion put Wrangler Magic on top and never looked back through splits of :26.4, :56.2, 1:25.2 and were home in 1:53.3. Aintsheasweetie took second while Solar Sister was third. The top three finishers are all daughters of Mach Three. Heavy favourite and leading point earner Sports Chic mounted a three wide rally in the final turn but tired and finished seventh. It was the second lifetime win in seven tries for Wrangler Magic owned by breeder Dr. Maurice Stewart of Alberta along with Tom Kyron of Toronto and Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec. These were the final regular season Gold events for both divisions. The top performers will return for the Super Finals on October 11 back at the Campbellville oval. Results for tonight’s program may be viewed through Mohawk Results - September 30. Ontario Sire Stakes

The breeders involved in harness racing in Australasia have access in 2014 to the leading sires in the world but just three North American sires continue to dominate our breeding scene at the moment and they are Art Major, Bettor's Delight and Mach Three. Australia Art Major stands in Australia and is completely dominant on the stakes money charts in that country due in no small part to the large numerical advantage he holds over his two main opponents. The charts below show quite clearly the advantage he has.  Art Major   4 year olds - 167                   3 year olds - 129                   2 year olds - 153  Bettors Delight                    4 year olds - 56                    3 year olds - 84                    2 year olds - 74 Mach Three                    4 year olds - 53                    3 year olds - 33                    2 year olds - 49 As you can see Art Major has a huge advantage and thats what you see every time you go to the track. You see Art Majors everywhere and that reinforces the message that he is on top. But the big numbers are only important if the stallion can deliver elite level racehorses and Art Major can do that in spades as he has shown over many years. New Zealand Skip across the Tasman to the home of both Bettors Delight and Mach Three and you get a completely different picture, again entirely due to foal numbers. Bettors Delight is completely dominant there on the stake money won list due in the main to huge books which have given him huge foal numbers most years. He is extremely fertile and has the added bonus of being a great filly sire as well The charts below show that huge advantage Bettors Delight has numbers wise over Art Major and Mach Three. Bettors Delight                   4 year olds - 117                   3 year olds - 234                   2 year olds - 220 Art Major                   4 years old - 98                   3 year olds - 87                   2 year olds - 49 Mach Three                   4 year olds - 160                   3 year olds - 77                   2 year olds - 94 Last years three year old season in New Zealand was different from normal in so much as Mach Three had more foals than either Bettors Delight or Art Major for the first time in living memory. The result was that Mach Three won the 3 year olds stake money list  quite comfortably from Bettors Delight and Art Major which proves once again that foal numbers do matter when it comes to winning sire premierships Now plenty of sires are trying to break the dominance of the big three and the latest is Sportswriter. He met the first requirement for all new stallions trying to dislodge the top three in that he had the largest crop of 2 year olds with 155 of any sire in Australia last season and he did leave 33 winners from his first crop. But when it came to the big money races, the Art Majors and Bettors Delights scooped up most of the money. So a good start for Sportswriter but not up with the big boys yet. Another stallion who has been given a big chance to join the big boys in Australia is Shadow Play who served a huge book of 295 mares last season in Australia and a further 80 in New Zealand on the back of a great first season in North America. His first crop of two year olds in Australasia were good last season without being brilliant so the jury is still out as to weather he can challenge the big three. Rock N Roll Heaven served a book of 215 mares in his first year at stud in Australia and a further 52 in New Zealand so his first crop which are two year olds in the current season will be watched with great interest. His North American results in the super tough New York Sires Stakes have been very good so the signs so far are positive. Auckland Reactor is another stallion who has been handed an opportunity to join the big three serving 212 mares in New Zealand and 182 in Australia in his first season at stud. With that number of mares, Auckland Reactor needs to make a big slash right from the start or else he will be discarded quickly. As it stands the big three continue to dominate but one thing is very clear. To compete with the Art Majors, Bettors Delights and Mach Threes is never going to be easy as they are world class sires who perform in both hemispheres. For any new sire to challenge the dominance of the three established top sires, he needs a book of mares of a comparable size and quality to what they regularly serve or he is really going to struggle. Harnesslink Media

The harness racing meeting at Cambridge last night (September25th) turned into a benefit night for leading South Auckland trainer/driver Brent Mangos.  Brent reined home four winners on the nine race card and what made it even more memorable for the top reinsman was the fact that he trained the four winners as well. The first of the quartet to put his foot in the winners enclosure was Vibhuti who after doing plenty mid race, run away and hid in the straight  for an easy win and Brent has a bit of time for the son of American Ideal. " He is quite a progressive horse and Cambridge suits him a lot better than Auckland as he has trouble getting around the last bend up there. I think he is getting more tractable with racing and has a bright future" he said when speaking to Harnesslink this morning.  The second winner came in the Te Awamutu Cup where Rockn Ruby made full use of a lovely trail behind the pacemaking Beyond The Silence to grab him in the shadows of the finishing post for her seventh lifetime win and Brent thinks that won't be the last win for the daughter of Mach Three " She is such a lovely mare to do anything with and is so consistent. That win last night took her over the $80,000 mark and I think she has got two or three wins in her yet" he said The third winner was another daughter of Mach Three in Molly O'Shea who in her first run for the season went straight to the front from barrier one and kept up a very steady clip and then scooted away from the 400 meters for an easy victory in a very smart 3:21.6 for the 2700 meters That was her third win from just ten starts and Brent thought there were more wins in store. "She just lacks a touch of high speed to be honest but she can really stay and thats how I drove her last night. I think theres another two or three wins in her as well" he said. The fourth winner was the debut runner Justforyou who is owned in Perth by Karnup Racing Pty Ltd who raced the champion mare Bettor Cover Lover from Brent's stable. A daughter of Christian Cullen, they purchased her out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for the princely sum of $10,000 which must seem like a bargain after last nights win. Justforyou settled three back on the inner early and was only angled off  the inner by Brent as they turned for home from where she absolutely flew to win going away by an ever increasing 2 1/2 lengths in a performance that both surprised and impressed Brent. "She had only had a couple of trials and I didn't think she was ready to do that. She really impressed me last night and she looks to have a big future" he said. Brent Mangos has always been rated one of the best drivers in the industry in New Zealand and last nights quartet of winners was just a timely reminder of how good he is. Harnesslink Media                

The first harness racing meeting for the new season at Methven comes up for decision on Sunday and as per usual for this time of year it sees the emergence of a lot of spring 3 year olds. Race 1 for the CO 3 year olds and older over 2300 meters from behind the mobile has drawn a smart field with several promising 3 year olds lining up. McArdle Star form the Ken Barron barn has drawn poorly at three on the second line but his trial runs suggest a big debut run from the son of McArdle. Brought out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for $30,000 by long time stable clients Steve Thompson and Grant Dickey, McArdle Star will have the services of in form reinsman Blair Orange and looks a big winning chance. Highview Freddy from the Robert Dunn barn is another 3 year old who looks above average and from the one draw can make his own luck. A full brother to the outstanding Highview Tommy 1:55.2 ($1,021,904) Highview Freddy had four starts at two against Say My Name and company so it is a big drop back in class here. He ran a lovely fourth behind Margarita in his first run back from a spell and looks sure to be a major player with Sam Ottley in the bike. Another runner from the Robert Dunn barn is Altissimo who has drawn nicely at barrier three. She is a 3 year old daughter of Mach Three from a Beach Towel half sister to the champion pacer Elsu 1:53.6 ($2,083,352). Altissimo qualified recently on the track in very impressive fashion and has the services of leading reinsman John Dunn in the bike.  Another 3 year old making his debut for the season is the Gotta Go Cullect gelding Until Further Notice from two on the second line from the Jimmy Curtin barn. Until Further Notice is a recent addition to the stable and he is now owned by long time stable client Ralph Nieper who raced his half brother Slash An Burn 1:54.7 ($277,288) from the Curtin barn. Placed twice as a two year old when racing out of the Murray Swain barn in Southland, Until Further Notice won a trial last week at Ashburton with smart closing sectionals of 56 .8 and 27.4 and looks ready to rumble. Just so all the 3 year olds don't have it all their own way, the Nigel McGrath trained and driven Western Art with four seconds in his last five starts looms as a fly in the ointment for the 3 year olds as he is well overdue to take out a maiden race.  We think with his favourable draw Highview Freddy just gets the nod from us but it  really is an open race and it wouldn't surprise us to see one of the other four mentioned in this article salute the judge. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing returns to Invercargill on Friday afternoon and the best race of the day is race eight for the 3 year olds and older over 2200 meters. Three first starters who have drawn barriers one, two and three look set to dominate the betting and the finish. Number one is Jetsdream who is a 3 year old by Jeremes Jet who has been burning up the tracks at trials and workouts in Southland. He won his qualifying heat by 7 lengths, last 400 meters in 28.1 and then won a CO heat on September 10th by 2 lengths with smart closing sectionals of 56.4 and 27.6 Trained by Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush, Jetsdream is to be driven by the talented southern reinsman Shane Walkinshaw. Drawn right beside him in barrier two is Costa Del Magnifico who is a 3 year old son of Mach Three who has also impressed at trials and workouts leading into his debut. He qualified in January as a 2 year old over a mile in 1:59.3 and has had two recent trial runs to get him ready for Friday. In the first of these Costa Del Magnifico ran second to Jetsdream and then came out three days later on September 13th and showed quick improvement winning a C0-C1 heat with quick closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.8. Trained at Invercargill by Brent Shirley, Costa Del Magnifico is to be driven by leading reinsman Nathan Williamson. Drawn at barrier three is Macs Man, a 3 year old son of promising sire Panspacificflight who has also been going great guns at recent trials. He raced very greenly when he qualified but improved quickly to win a C0 trial shortly after with smart closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28.4 At his next trial Macs Man ran a close third to Jetsdream and Costa Del Magnifico after doing plenty of work. Trained by Kirk Larsen at Branxholme, Macs Man is to be driven by champion reinsman Dexter Dunn. In the end we have gone with Jetsdream due to the fact that he has been running time at the trials but  has yet to be really tested. Costa Del Magnifico for second just in front of Macs Man who has the bonus of the "Dexter " factor. To round out first fours throw in the Allan Beck trained and driven Run to Hide. Harnesslink Media    

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