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CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - With the 1-9 favorite Caprice Hill being locked at the pylons for the entire mile, Royal Charm capitalized off a third-over trip to win the harness racing $436,000 Elegantimage stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:54.4 at 33-1. Dream Child secured the lead off a :27 quarter, sweeping by Emoticon Hanover towards the pylons. Side Bet Hanover raced in third alongside Celebrity Eventsy, who inched towards leader Dream Child off a :55.4 half. Into the final turn, Celebrity Evensty pressured Dream Child, while Flowers N Songs and Royal Charm followed from second and third over, keeping Caprice Hill stuck at the inside racing seventh. Celebrity Eventsy slid by Dream Child passed the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Caprice Hill had some room to sling up the inside, but, after having to evade Dream Child fading to the back, she was caught behind a wall of horses that enveloped stretch-leader Celebrity Eventsy. Flowers N Songs had tipped off her cover as well as Royal Charm and Dewdle All Day. Royal Charm edged by Flowers N Songs as Dewdle All Day rushed down the centre of the track. Royal Charm held on at the wire, with Dewdle All Day finishing second, Flower N Songs third, and Emoticon Hanover sneaking up the inside to finish fourth. Royal Charm, a three-year-old filly trotter by Majestic Son from the Yankee Glide mare Queen Of Grace, is owned by David McDonald, Shelly Macmillan and Bridle Path Stables, trained by Mark Steacy, and was driven by Paul MacDonell. Winning her sixth race in her 18th career start, Royal Charm has amassed $315,212 in earnings. "It never feels bad when you win a race like this," MacDonell said. "It's a prestigious race, and I'm just happy to win it for Mark [Steacy] and his connections. They've been supporting this filly right through. She was coming up to a good race and did it tonight." "She doesn't leave very well," MacDonell also said. "It's been a thing for her all year where she struggles to get away from the gate. As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole and then the flow started to develop on the outside, so she got up third over, and she always has a good kick coming home." "Caprice [Hill] is really good, and fortunately for us she got locked in," Steacy said. "You got to be lucky to be good, too." Royal Charm returned $67.50 to win and $122.50 to place; there was no show wagering. Dewdle All Day, finishing second at 91-1, paid $314.00, producing a $2 exactor that returned $1,299.40. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

JULY 29, 2016 - It took longer than expected, but Delcrest Magicstar finally made her debut at Grand River Raceway on Friday and the two-year-old trotting filly went home with a harness racing Grassroots trophy and the fastest clocking of the three Ontario Sires Stakes divisions. Starting from Post 1 with co-owner James MacDonald in the race bike, Delcrest Magicstar eased away from the starting gate and was sitting fourth when Late Shift reached the opening quarter in :30.3. The filly continued to watch from fourth as fan favourite Hab Faith took over top spot, leading the field to a 1:00.4 half, but heading for the 1:31.4 three-quarters MacDonald tipped Delcrest Magicstar to the outside and the filly had a chance to show off her skills. Powering around the final turn Delcrest Magicstar grabbed control from Hab Faith and accelerated down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 2:02.1. Late Shift stepped out of the pocket to claim the second-place share of the $18,000 purse and Hab Faith settled for third. "We were really happy with her," said MacDonald, who was joined in the winner's circle by the victorious "Be A Winner" contest finalist. "She trots beautiful, she's built like a tank, she looks like a good horse when you look at her, so hopefully she keeps progressing." Friday's outing was Delcrest Magicstar's first, following a win and a second in qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and July 1. The filly was originally heading for the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs, but a bout of sickness pushed her debut back by three weeks. "She got brutal sick," said MacDonald, who shares ownership of the filly, a $30,000 purchase from the Canadian Yearling Sale, with trainer Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. "She was yellow snot pouring out of her, and coughing, and it was two weeks before he (McKinnon) could get it cleaned up, two different kinds of antibiotics, and she was off her feed. It was horrible." The filly finally started to rebound from the sickness last week and when they trained her in preparation for Friday's test McKinnon and MacDonald knew she was back on her game. "She trained awesome the other day," said the Guelph, ON resident. "I trained with Johnny and she blew by me down the lane and so we were kind of hoping she'd put together a good performance." Now that she is healthy, the only obstacle standing in Delcrest Magicstar's way could be her attitude. MacDonald said the daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance has a beautiful gait, but is not naturally inclined to give the extra effort that often separates the top horses from those in the lower tier. "She's got a bit of an attitude. Johnny always went with her and he was really high on her, but she just doesn't do anything extra," explained MacDonald. "After she qualified, I said, 'She's right on the verge of being a real nice horse, or not a very good horse.'" The second Grassroots division also saw a filly making her debut trot into the winner's circle. Starting from Post 6 with fan favourite Crystal Gumdrop, Grand River Raceway's leading driver Bob McClure employed a strategy similar to MacDonald's. The pair sat fourth as Parkhill Nocredit reached the quarter in :30.1, and had rolled to the outside before the 1:02.2 half. By the 1:33.2 three-quarters Crystal Gumdrop had pulled to within one length of the pacesetter and when McClure asked her for another gear the Angus Hall miss powered away to a three and one-quarter length victory in 2:03.3. Parkhill Nocredit settled for second and Man Shes Hot was four more lengths back in third. "She's a nice filly. She behaved very well for her first lifetime start," said Elora, ON resident McClure. "I didn't push her until late, but she had a lot of pop when I did." McClure crafted the win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett and his partners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The trio acquired the daughter of Angus Hall and Crystas Dream for $13,000 from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The last division saw Inner Drive record her second straight Grassroots win with a gate-to-wire romp in 2:07.1. Hopeswishesndreams finished two and one-half lengths back in second and Oh Miss Sophie recovered from an early break to take third. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The homebred daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge boasts a record of two wins and one second in four starts for earnings of $21,500. She sits atop the two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots standings with 102 points. The freshman trotting fillies make their fourth Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on August 6. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 1 as part of the track's signature Industry Day program. The three-year-old pacing fillies will battle for Gold Series glory in Races 2 and 6, warming up the crowd for the $107,800 Battle of the Belles Final for two-year-old pacing fillies in Race 10 and the $159,500 Battle of Waterloo Final for two-year-old pacing colts in Race 11. The afternoon's festivities kick off at noon, with the first race going to the gate at 1:30 pm. For more information about Industry Day visit Ontario Racing

JUNE 14, 2016 - Six $18,000 Grassroots divisions were featured on Mohawk Racetrack's Tuesday evening program as the harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies opened their 2016 season. Things got off to a quick start as Magical Valentine and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev fired to the front before the halfway marker and sailed home to a 1:56.2 personal best in the first division. In just her fourth lifetime start, Magical Valentine bested a pair of freshman Grassroots winners, Traviata and Dewdle All Day. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev conditions the daughter of Kadabra for M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. The win boosted Magical Valentine's sophomore record to two wins, one second and earnings of $19,500 in three starts. The sharp tempo was maintained in the second division as favourite Magical Steph and Myretirementticket battled through fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:26.1 before yielding in the stretch to a hard-closing Royal Charm. After pushing out three-wide to get a clear look at the leaders, Royal Charm and trainer-driver Mark Steacy powered down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.4. Myretirementticket stayed game for second and Its All About Sam trotted into third. "Royal Charm is a well-bred filly that has always shown a lot of speed, but has been hampered by tie-up problems and immaturity," said Steacy of the Majestic Son-Queen Of Grace daughter. "Hopefully her problems are now behind her so we can continue to see what she can do." The Lansdowne, ON resident conditions Royal Charm for Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. Tuesday's win was the filly's first in six outings. Fan favourites Dayliner and Paul Walker also delivered a sharp mile in the third division, trotting under the wire in 1:56, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Powerful Glare and Silky Flashy Nfast. The win - a new lifetime mark for the Muscle Mass daughter - was Dayliner's second in 16 appearances. Walker trains and drives the filly for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound, ON. The first-time winner trend continued in the fourth division as Jody Jamieson stepped into the race bike behind True Muscle and guided the filly to a one and one-half length victory in 1:57.1. Fan favourites Could It Be Magic and I Want Kandy settled for second and third behind the first time winner. "She's just a sweet OSS filly that seems to want to do everything you ask," said Jamieson, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to the win for trainer Keith Jones of Barrie, ON and owner Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON. "I liked her so much that I'm going to go to Georgian Downs to drive her in the Alliance Final on Sunday (June 19)," added the Moffat resident. P C Cantore earned her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in the fifth Grassroots division, reaching the Mohawk Racetrack finish line two lengths ahead of Smash Hit and Zorgwijk Queen. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Balladeer to the 1:57.2 victory for owner-breeder-trainer Peter Clements of Dobbinton, ON. Unraced at two, P C Cantore now has four wins in six starts and earnings of $21,592. The final Grassroots trophy was awarded to Majestic Mistress, who hung on for a neck victory after battling pacesetter Absolut Seelster from the halfway marker onward. Majestic Mistress and driver Ryan Holliday stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1, holding off favourite P L Jill and second choice Magical Wonder. The win was the Majestic Son daughter's first in seven outings. "It was nice to get the monkey off our back with her," said driver Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, ON. "She can trot enough; it's just a matter of keeping her at task. I think she's getting the hang of it." Holliday's father Dave, also of Mount Forest, conditions Majestic Mistress for owner-breeder Ron Corbett of St. Jacobs, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 1, during Dresden Raceway's Canada Day celebrations. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack this week, with the three-year-old pacing colts taking centre stage on Thursday with six Grassroots divisions and the three-year-old pacing fillies stepping to the forefront on Friday with seven Grassroots splits. Post time for both programs is 7:30 pm. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 2 - Harness racing six-year-old trotting mare Charmed Life reached the $1 million earnings mark in style Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dave Menary trainee was able to convert off a three-hole trip from driver Jody Jamieson to score her first win of the season and reach the $1 million mark. Charmed Life entered Thursday's race less than $5,000 away from the milestone and picked the perfect time to win in a $24,000 Fillies & Mares Trot. The daughter of Majestic Son is owned by Menary Racing Inc., Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. Charmed Life has been a standout on the WEG circuit since her Ontario Sires Stakes days. Trained by John Bax until 2014, the classy trotting mare has tackled and defeated her male counterparts on multiple occasions in the Preferred. Charmed Life has also had success on the Grand Circuit with a victory in the Miss Versatility and runner-up finishes in the Armbro Flight and Miami Valley Distaff. The Menary trainee banked over $209,000 last season and finished third in the Breeders Crown Mare Trot at Woodbine. Thursday's 1:54.1 victory was the 19th career win for Charmed Life, who sports a career-mark of 1:52.2. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Charmed Life and all her connections on becoming harness racing's newest millionaire. Mark McKelvie

The annual Harrisburg yearling sale has turned up its fair share of diamonds in the rough, for John Bax, it was HIP #558 in 2014. Now he is sending out tough contender Danish Darby, HIP #558, in Saturday's S.B.O.A. Final for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk Racetrack looking to upset the probable favourites. "We were looking for an Ontario bred and it was the third day," said Bax. "The pedigree was all racehorse, she's a Majestic Son so we thought she would be a good fit and the price was right at $20,000." Danish Darby is the third foal from Danish Diamond, an SJ's Caviar mare who traded in racing for a second career after only three starts. The Majestic Son filly is her second foal to take a mark under 1:55, the other being Andover Hall sired Danish Durango, who has become a steady competitor at the Meadowlands. "She was all business right from the get-go when we were breaking her, a little aggressive. A little bit of a bully but always went ahead as she started training. She seemed to have her own agenda sometimes." While her two-year-old season was hardly lacklustre, she failed to set the trotting world alight. A regular on the freshmen Sires Stakes circuit, Danish Darby only hit the board twice in eight starts and retained her maiden status coming into 2016. "Physically, I thought she could play in the Gold but mentally she wasn't mature enough," noted Bax. "It cost her...she broke a few times, self-destructed behind the gate. Something as simple as her not getting her own way." Fast forward to April, where she promptly got off the wings to grab the lead and refused to relinquish it in her first qualifier of the year at Mohawk. This set the tone for her next three starts, with back to back wins and a second. "She's better this year; last year she didn't capitalize on her talent. The talent was there but she was a bit hard on herself and hard on us as far as the manners part. She wanted sometimes to go more than she should or could at the time, so it cost us a little." Bax is quick to note that she has become a bit more agreeable since, much to the appreciation of those around the barn. Though she still has her competitive edge, she has grown both physically and mentally, developing an essential maturity coming into this season. Danish Darby will start from post seven in the S.B.O.A Final on Saturday at the Campbellville oval, having put up an impressive second-place finish in her elimination for driver Paul MacDonell. After Rick Zeron trainee Radiant Beam broke prior to the half, MacDonnell capitalized on the situation from the pocket and held the lead to the three-quarter marker. 2015 O'Brien Award winner Caprice Hill trotted home in 28 seconds flat to steal a 1:53.1 victory, but Bax is confident his filly is poised to be a tough contender in the final. "I was real happy with her, she had to do most of the work in that race. Any time you trot in 1:53.3 in your third start of the year, I think it's impressive. I guess we will find out if she can come back to that. I'm hoping in the final that one of those two other really nice fillies will do the work." The $174,329 final is stacked with a group of tough trotters, featuring Caprice Hill, Celebrity Eventsy and second Bax trainee Moonlight Cocktail. Finishing fourth in her elimination, she will team up with Steve Condren from post position eight alongside her stablemate. "She's come a long way as well from last year; she's been dropping in time and she's always done it right. She's been very well mannered and it's a matter of her learning to go faster. She trotted in the 55 range which is new territory for her and I'm hoping that she'll keep progressing, get a trip and pick up a cheque." Danish Darby will be pointed next to Ontario Sires Stakes Gold engagements in June, with her connections optimistic about what the 2016 season has in store. "You always hope to see the best from them," Bax said. "I'm hoping that she can trot consistently in the 1:54 range because that's what it's going to take to play in the big leagues. "If she can do that we'll have a lot of fun this year. The Anderson family are already having's always nice to have a group of owners who take as much enjoyment in their horses as they do." Saturday night's card at Mohawk also features the S.B.O.A. Final for three-year-old filly pacers headlined by last year's O'Brien Award winner L A Delight. The first race goes to post at 7:30pm. Here are the fields for the S.B.O.A Finals. (PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer) Race 5: S.B.O.A Filly Trot - Purse: $174,329 1. Tymal Tempest (Phil Hudon - Mark Etsell) 2. Caprice Hill (Randy Waples - Tony Alagna) 3. Celebrity Eventsy (Sylvain Filion - Staffan Lind) 4. Major Muscle (Mario Baillargeon - Mark Etsell) 5. Dottie (Chris Christoforou - Jerry Duford) 6. Flowers N Songs (Doug McNair - Paul Reid) 7. Danish Darby (Paul MacDonell - John Bax) 8. Moonlight Cocktail (Steve Condren - John Bax) 9. Jangone (Dagfin Henriksen - Dagfin Henriksen) 10. P L Jill (Mike Saftic - Matt Dupuis) AE: Treasure Gifts K (Doug McNair - Paul Reid) Race 8: S.B.O.A Filly Pace - Purse: $173,329 1. Tonightimlovingyou (James MacDonald - Jimmy Takter) 2. Good Will Hanover (Chris Christoforou - Dr. Ian Moore) 3. Lay Lady Lay (Doug McNair - Chris Matthews) 4. L A Delight (Randy Waples - Bob McIntosh) 5. Free Show (Jody Jamieson - David Menary) 6. Lady Marina (Trevor Henry - Stacy Reinsma) 7. Thatsoveryverynice (Sylvain Filion - Tony Alagna) 8. Noone To Depend On (Phil Hudon - Carl Jamieson) 9. Mayhem Seelster (Jack Moiseyev - Tony O'Sullivan) 10. Divas Image (Jonathan Drury - Mark Steacy) AE: Maniana (Trevor Henry - David Menary)   Mark McKelvie  

Like many residents north of the border harness racing trainer David Menary is a huge hockey fan and also was a participant in the game. Therefore, it is certainly not surprising he employs jargon stemming from the sport when he describes Charmed Life. “She is a franchise player,” he said. “She is not Bee A Magician but she is one of the top three horses in my barn and I am grateful every day for my lovely wife, my two beautiful daughters and Charmed Life.” The now 6-year-old daughter of Majestic Son and the Muscles Yankee mare Christina M seeks her first victory of the season and continues her quest to reach millionaire status when she lines up behind the gate on Monday (May 23) in the second of two C$30,000 divisions of the Miss Versatility Series at Mohawk Racetrack. Owned by Menary Racing Inc., Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero, the mare will be in rein to Jody Jamieson in the evening’s ninth race against seven rivals, including Harley Momma, Rockin With Dewey, Stormont Kate and Second Sister, who will be vying against her to claim their own spot in the winner’s circle. Charmed Life enters this contest fresh off three consecutive second place finishes. She was directly behind the very talented mares Muscle Baby Doll (on April 25 in a conditioned race at Mohawk) and Hannelore Hanover (on May 8 in the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff) and then came home the bridesmaid to the classy stallion Flanagan Memory on May 16 in the Preferred Trot at Mohawk. “Every time she goes out there you can expect her best effort,” Menary said. “Any time she loses it is not her fault and she always has a valid excuse. Like last year when we raced her in the Fresh Yankee on Hambletonian Day and she threw in the worst race of her life (10th place finish). She had the thumps that day and then it happened again when we shipped her up to Vernon Downs for the Muscle Hill right after that (eighth place finish). That was the only bad month she has ever had and all she needed was just some extra fluids because it was so hot out. She is low maintenance and requires no vet work. She is so easy to handle, she could probably live out of the back of a truck.” Charmed Life has competed in 83 trotting miles with 18 wins, 20 second place finishes and 15 thirds. She has collected $923,532 during her career and kept company with the likes of elite mares such as Bee A Magician, Maven, Classic Martine and D’One. She was third in last year’s Breeders Crown final, nearly set a track record in her very first start at age two and has banked more than $175,000 in each of the four full years she has raced. This year’s edition of the Miss Versatility will be her third attempt to take home the series title. She was fourth in the $100,000 final last year at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and second the previous year. For both her appearances in Central Ohio, Charmed Life was saddled with the outermost post, which can be notoriously difficult to overcome at that venue. “They say the third time is a charm, so we are going to try and get that win for her again this year,” Menary said. “When she finished second she came from way back at the top of the stretch and passed Bee A Magician and Maven. I really thought she was going to win but she came up just a neck short (of Classic Martine). Even when she finished fourth (last year) she still raced well and never had a pylon in her line of vision the entire way around the track. You couldn’t ask anything more from her and we are hoping this year we draw a little bit better. We would really like to see her in the winner’s circle for this series.” Prior to Menary and his partners purchasing her in March 2014, Charmed Life was under the watchful eye of John Bax and was owned by John Houston, Parkhill Stud Farm, Goin To The Show Stable and Dale Debnam. Menary worked with an agent to broker the deal and remains thrilled he has the opportunity to own Charmed Life. “John (Bax) was the one who made her,” he said. “He was the one that taught her to trot and I just had to learn about her. It took a couple of races for us to figure her out. We raced her the same way John did with leaving with her, then moving her twice during the race. She didn’t seem to be finishing as strongly as I thought she should be so I kept scoping her and found she was full of mucus and was bleeding a little. “To be honest with you, He’s Watching had an impact on the longevity and success of her racing career. I took her down with us to the Meadowlands when he raced in the Meadowlands Pace and she was in the Miss Versatility. That is when I decided to put her on the lightest dose possible of Lasix because I do that in New Jersey without having to sit out of racing her. She was terrific that day and finished a neck behind Bee A Magician, but she came home her final quarter in :25.4. “I don’t really believe in giving my horses anything and am very straightforward, but with his mare it really helped her. In fact just about six weeks after that she had what I think is the best race while I have had her in a Miss Versatility leg at Tioga Downs. She beat Classic Martine and Maven and set her lifetime mark of 1:52.2. Jody (Jamieson) was driving her and he said she literally was coming out of the bridle down the stretch. He was impressed.” Charmed Life will follow a similar schedule to her two previous campaigns with Menary. “I lightened up her stakes schedule some this year but not much,” he said. “We’ll do the Miss Versatility series and I can put her in some races here at home while maybe giving her a week off here and there. We also decided not to go to the Muscle Hill this year and we’ll be skipping the Allerage down in Lexington with her. I want her to be a fresh horse for the end of the year. “Also her groom should be credited for how she has turned out as well. His name is Mark Cecile and he has spent a lot of time with this mare making sure she is in the best of health. I can’t say enough about the work he has put in with her and he’s been with her right from the beginning. “We are just so lucky to have her. She may not be the fastest or the strongest, but she is a grinder and she will wear you down. Horses like her don’t come along often and that is why she is the backbone of this barn.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

The sales topper at the 2016 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale held today Sunday the 13th of March in Melbourne is destined for the Brent Lilley harness racing stable. A colt by Majestic Son (sire of two-year-old Group 1 two-year-old winners Im Stately, Daenarys Targaryen and One Over Da Moon) out of proven producer Pinevale Ellason (Duchess Ella, Ruby Pinevale and All Star Angus) sold for $47,000 to Jim Connelly and will join the powerful Lilley yard. “Really pleased we got him,” Lilley said. “We had a good look around and thought he was the pick of the sale. On type obviously and breeding, he ticks both boxes.” Seller Terry Forster was “rapt” with the result. “We’re delighted with the result. It’ll keep the wheels turning,” he said. “We were hoping we’d go close to topping the sale because of the breeding and the progeny that this mare has had.” Preparer Pauleen Thomson was also thrilled with the result and she had an extra special day because two of the yearlings she prepared were among the top three priced sales of the day. Thomson prepared Lot 10, the sales topper, and Lot 13, a colt by Majestic Son out of Cloud Chaser which sold for $36,000. “I’m absolutely rapt. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “He’s always been a really nice colt,” Thomson said of the Majestic Son/Pinevale Ellason colt. “He’s got a beautiful nature, no problems at all, just a really nice natured animal.” The second highest priced sale was Lot 31, a bay colt by Aldebaran Park first season sire Yield Boko out of Joyces Choice, prepared by Haley Toulmin. It went for $40,000. This year’s sale average was $14,900, up from last year’s average of $12,900 (an increase of about 7.5 per cent). 2016 Sale Results               Lot Sire Dam Sex Sales Price Purchaser Reserve 1 Bacardi Lindy Enjoy A Champers Filly Withdrawn N/A N/A 2 Pegasus Spur Its Billie Holiday Colt Passed In N/A $10,000 3 Fling It Black Curlew Filly Passed In N/A $15,000 4 Skyvalley Im Sonialeelee Filly $6,000 G Conroy   5 Angus Hall Petite Flair Filly $8,000 I Nicholas   6 Yankee Spider Maori Azolla Colt Passed In N/A $12,000 7 Imperial Count Icantremember Colt Withdrawn N/A N/A 8 Skyvalley Aldebaran Deegan Colt $9,500 A Ashwood   9 Majestic Son Missgoodytwoshoes Filly $14,500 L Fitzpatrick   10 Majestic Son Pinevale Ellason Colt $47,000 KPC Racing   11 Brylin Boyz Shez Allrighty Colt $8,000 S Thompson   12 The Pres Miriama Filly $6,000 Z Cauchi   13 Majestic Son Cloud Chaser Colt $36,000 M Caldow   14 Yield Boko Kyvalley Bling Colt $9,000 L Justice   15 Lucky Chucky Charlotte Galleon Colt $13,000 J Knight   16 CR Commando Kano Classic Colt Passed In N/A $15,000 17 Yield Boko Aldebaran Crumpet Colt $15,000 Y Males   18 Majestic Son Singing Creek Colt Withdrawn N/A N/A 19 Tennotrump Eagles Image Colt $8,000 P Mellington   20 Yield Boko Aldebaran Queenie Filly $19,000 D Scott   21 Majestic Son Ostensibly Colt Passed In N/A $10,000 22 Angus Hall Idoido Colt Passed In N/A $35,000 23 Muscle Hill Aftanoondelite Colt Passed In N/A $50,000 24 Yield Boko Aldebaran Revenue Filly $12,000 N Shinn   25 Majestic Son Missy Calder Filly Withdrawn N/A N/A 26 Pegasus Spur Lover Or Loser Colt $8,000 A Alchin   27 Bad Boy Truscott Poet Laureate Filly $10,000 C Murphy   28 Yield Boko Aldebaran Sunset Colt $16,000 M Taranto   29 Angus Hall Running Pinevale Gelding $13,000 I Caruana   30 Muscle Hill Starcus Colt $22,000 B Lilley   31 Yield Boko Joyces Choice Colt $40,000 G Webster   32 Bacardi Lindy Ima Tartan Tease Filly $15,000 W Agostino   33 Majestic Son Maori Road Filly $31,000 Raceapacer   34 Yield Boko Countess Angela Colt Withdrawn N/A N/A 35 Angus Hall Flash And Flair Colt $27,000 M Craven   36 Down Under Muscles Dodo Rocket Filly $30,000 D Aiken   37 Armbro Invasion Betty Cuthbert Filly $8,000 S Cameron   38 Yield Boko Bromac Aldebaran Filly $9,000 D Aitkin   39 Framework Pepperell Dargent Filly $4,000 F Cauchi   40 Majestic Son Lindys Two Step Filly $9,000 B Edwards   41 Kyvalley Blur Aldebaran Hall Colt $15,000 M Craven   42 Yield Boko Notnow Itstooearly Colt Withdrawn N/A N/A 43 Down Under Muscles Elite Action Colt $4,500 Veritas Holdings   44 Yankee Spider Lunar Landing Colt Passed In N/A $50,000 45 Bacardi Lindy Cruzenthepacific Filly $10,000 E Tormey   46 Yield Boko Maori Lindy Colt $11,500 MC Family Trust   47 Bacardi Lindy Docmelfi Filly $11,000 M Taranto   48 Armbro Variable La Cousu Colt $15,000 A Gath   49 Yankee Spider Stand On Me Filly $10,000 J Shelley   50 Down Under Muscles Melpark Sunrise Filly $12,000 T Bradley   51 Skyvalley Aldebaran Pearl Colt $8,000 Tonn Pty Ltd       Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

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

With the yearling sales quickly descending on us in New Zealand (five weeks), the adverts and videos are up everywhere including this site as harness racing vendors try to find an angle for those prospective buyers to take a serious look at their offerings. It is not an easy thing to accomplish but one effort that made us have a chuckle here at Harnesslink was the naming of Lot 126 at this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka on February 22nd. The vendors have recognized that there is only a very small group of potential buyers for their beautifully bred trotting colt and hence named him Forget The Price Tag. The old adage being here that if you can afford to seriously considering buying this 'Blue Blood', then whether you can afford him would be the least of your concerns. Lot 126 has one of those sale yearling catalogue pages that screams quality and class. Forget The Price Tag is by the leading age group trotting stallion in both Australia and New Zealand last season in Majestic Son so that is a big plus to start with. The maternal family of Forget The Price Tag is even better. He is the first foal from the smart Muscles Yankee mare Yankeedoosie ($43,999) with of course Yankeedoosie being a full sister to the champion trotter I Can Doosit 1:55.5 ( $1,445,774) and Sno's Big Boy 1:58.4 ($215,309) As has happened quite a lot in the last few years with imported mares, the credit for this North American trotting family finding itself in New Zealand is down to Dave Phillips and National Bloodstock. Dave imported the Speedy Crown youngster Becalm Lobell to New Zealand where she had a fine race career, making it to the verge of open class for Robert Mitchell. Sheezadoosie ($48,632), who has been broodmare of the year twice in New Zealand has kept the family in the headlines down under while her half brother Golden Blend 1:55 ($294,630) did a fine job in North America. Bred the way he is, Forget The Price Tag was always going to attract a lot of attention from the big end of the market and his naming only serves to reinforce that. To view the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale Catalogue click here. Harnesslink Media  

The Central Otago Trotting Club meeting at Omakau just after New Year has always attracted plenty of handy horses from Canterbury down to Southland and yesterday was no exception. The very smart two year old trotter from last year in Gunners Coin with Dexter Dunn in the bike was backed as though he was unbeatable in the maiden trot but a first starter from the powerful Phil Williamson barn in Royal Kenny had other ideas. The four year old daughter of leading sire Majestic Son went straight to the front from barrier two for inform reinsman Brad Williamson and sent up a hot tempo right from the start of the 2000 metres race. Royal Kenny and Brad had a lot of them off the bit with a lap to go and there was no let up as they went clear by four or five lengths down the back straight the last time. As they turned for home, Brad had a quick look and saw he had the race in safe keeping and let Royal Kenny work down to the finish with Brad sitting quietly in the bike. Gunners Coin got home super for second after having an interrupted run in the last lap in front of Denn Nee Nose Best who had trailed from the start but they were both still over three lengths in arrears at the finishing line. What made the run of Royal Kenny even more meritorious was the brilliant time of 2:29.8, a mile rate of 2:00.5 with closing sectionals of 59.2 and 29.7 The time broke the previous track record for a trotter for 2000 metres at Omakau by 2.6 seconds Brad was suitably impressed with the debut effort " We knew that she was way better than a maiden but had the odd doubt with Gunners Coin being in the field." "She won that very easily, I didn't even pull the plugs." " She has really improved in the last six months and shows no sign of stopping yet." " It is a breed that is really tough and has plenty of stamina and thats why I drove her like that." " She only had a couple of  trials prior to her debut so there should be plenty of improvement left in her yet," Brad said. A half sister to the smart trotter Queen Kenny (7 wins), the dam of Royal Kenny is a race winning full sister to the millionaire One Over Kenny 1:57 ($1,098,007), One Under Kenny (11 wins) and a half sister to One Kenny (19 wins) and it is a family that continues to produce star trotters generation after generation. Going by her win at Omakau, Royal Kenny looks to have inherited all the family ability Harnesslink Media  

Trying to predict how harness racing mares will perform at stud is like trying to predict which politician will keep his word. In other words it is a fruitless pursuit but all breeders do it to some degree or other. Sometimes the immediate results can be very disappointing and then suddenly two or three generations later the family blossoms. Such is the fickle game of breeding horses. One mare who disappointed when put to stud many years ago was Gay Helen. The racewinning daughter of Gay Piper was a full sister to the cup class pacer Mobile Globe and much was expected of her but she only left two winners, that being the one win trotting mare Frivolous and Three Tens. Three Tens left several smart age group trotters such as Pitcher (8 wins), Signor Gabrielli (8 wins), Four Leaf (5 wins) and Ten Four (4 wins) who is the grand dam of the brilliant Habibti 1:56.5 ($325,465) and Habibti Ivy (2015 NZ Trotting Oaks).  However Frivolous wasn't much better at stud than Gay Helen leaving just one trotting winner as well but one of her daughters Fickle has righted the ship bigtime. Fickle has left three classy winners in Without Fear (NZ Trotting Oaks), Fear Not ($47,505) and the 2005-2006 NZ Two year old Trotting Filly of the Year in Fear Factor ($59,192) who won the NZ Sires Stakes Championship at two. At stud Fear Factor has already left one better than herself in the form of Prince Fearless 1:55.2 ($146,034) who was a factor in all the three year old classics last season and has made the step up to the best grades at four, the highlight so far being a 13 1/2 length victory at Addington on Cup Day. A full brother to Prince Fearless will be offered as Lot 25 at this years Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka, in Auckland on February 22nd. Named Stress Factor, the son of Majestic Son is a long barreled athletic type who looks every inch a trotter Gay Helen may have made a poor start to her breeding career but mares tracing to her have certainly made up for it in the last twenty years and in Stress Factor they look to have a likely type to add to the family record. For the catalogue click here Harnesslink Media  

Sean McCaffrey and Ross Paynter are only in their first full season of their training partnership together but already the signs are very encouraging heading into the future. Last night they took three runners to Alexandra Park and to even their surprise came away with three winners. First up was the smart Love You trotting mare in Yagunnakissmeornot who made it two from two for the season with another impressive victory. Sean was always of the opinion that the mare would get better with age. " She is a big daughter of Love You and I always thought time would be her best friend." "She has never really disappointed me the whole way through and I think she is probably still twelve months away from being at her peak." "That was her tenth win last night at just her 20th career start so you know if you are patient with her, she will reward you down the track," Sean said. Contrary to some reports, Yagunnakissmeornot did not get the bonus for winning ten races at the park as some of her two year old wins were penalty free. The second win for the partnership last night came in the form of the four year old Real Desire mare in Norvic Ruby. Sean has always had a bit of time for the mare. "I broke her in as a late two year old and she impressed me but just needed a little time." " She kinda got forgotten about and ended up having 15 months out." This is only her second time in and she has gone from unqualified to race winner in one preparation so she has a future. " She just needs to be driven cold and have one shot at them and James (Stormont) drove her beautifully last night," Sean said. The third winner for the partnership came in the form of the very well bred three year old trotter Royal Willie. The three year old son of Majestic Son and the former top racemare Miss Whiplash (13 wins) was driven a treat by the inform Maurice McKendry and grabbed the favourite Matatoki late for a stylish victory with the rest of the field over six lengths away. Talented enough to be competitive in the Harness Jewels last season, Royal Willie has really come on between campaigns. " He is very bossy and territorial at home and likes to let you know that he is about." This season he still does that at home but as soon as he gets to the track he is behaving like an old campaigner. " No noise at all last night and he was well behaved the whole time at the park." " Maurice was very confident going into the race and told me post race that he won it a bit easier than it looked from the stands," Sean said. Sean and Ross have made a good start to their training partnership and with the team they have around them, they should be in for a very successful season. Harnesslink Media

Prince Fearless has always looked a horse headed to the top of harness racing but has fallen short at times of fulfilling his promise as he grew into his massive frame.   Competitive as a three year old against the very best, Prince Fearless is now starting to produce the performances everybody knew he was capable of.   Today on Cup Day at Addington Raceway he missed the start slightly but a false start helped him have a second bite of the cherry.   On start two, Mark Purdon stepped him straight to the front and from there Prince Fearless turned the race into a procession.   Given a bit more reign at the 400 metres the four-year-old son of Majestic Son shot away and distanced the opposition, winning by over 13 lengths.   Mark Purdon gave the horse a big rap post race.   “ He is the best trotter in our stable and is in great form.”   “ He is headed to open company in a hurry.”   “ He has the all round game to be very competitive when he gets there.”   “ Today he stepped well and trotted beautifully throughout,” Mark said.   Part owner Neil Pilcher was confident going into the race.   “ He went super at the Cup trials behind Monbet who is the hot favourite in the FFA so I knew he was a big chance today.”   “Last season he was a big gangly horse who was very immature but he has filled out into his big frame now,”Neil said.   The open class trotting ranks are full with talent but Prince Fearless looks the type to become a star amongst the elite trotters.     Harnesslink Media

Louisville, KY --- When he received the call about a 2-year-old trotting filly that was for sale, Frank Bellino was in no mad rush to sign a check. His reluctance to purchase Muscle Baby Doll had nothing to do with her family tree or the fact she commenced her career on the Iowa fair circuit. He simply had already acquired a filly of the same age and gait that was also staked to the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. “I had just bought You’re Majestic,” said Bellino. “The connections are from Louisiana, but bring their horses to Ohio to sell them. I got her after she won her first start very impressively at Northfield. I was also looking for something that was eligible to the Ontario program. “Since I already had that filly, I did not need another one for the same conditions and although she (Muscle Baby Doll) was a $5,000 yearling, the price the Huffmans (the filly’s former owners) wanted was much, much more than that. “I finally made the move to get her because I loved her pedigree. (Jimmy) Takter trained her mother (Have You Ever) and made over $200,000 with her. I have purchased Iowa fair circuit horses before and done quite well with them. They were not stakes horses but performed great in overnights. Also, I really liked her races. It impressed me she beat older horses on a fair track as a 2-year-old. Even after I bought her, I still thought You’re Majestic would be the better filly.” While You’re Majestic has certainly not disgraced herself as she has amassed just over $200,000 in her short career, Muscle Baby Doll was a quality filly last year and dominated the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit this year. She defeated Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown victor Wild Honey in their $26,250 Elegantimage elimination on Sept. 11 at Mohawk Racetrack and captured seven consecutive races before losing the $307,040 final. With Bellino deciding not to supplement Muscle Baby Doll to the Breeders Crown and You’re Majestic also being ineligible, he decided to ship his fillies to Hoosier Park to compete against one another in the $140,000 Crossroads of America on Friday (Oct. 30). Muscle Baby Doll, fresh off a track record performance of 1:53.1 in her $46,750 division of the Circle City over the same surface last week, will leave from post position two in what is carded as the 10th race. David Miller will be holding the lines and the filly is the 5-2 morning line selection. You’re Majestic drew the 10 hole with Yannick Gingras at the controls and is rated at 15-1 off her seventh place finish in the first division of last week’s Circle City. Although both fillies are conditioned by Tony O’Sullivan, they will race under Trent Stohler’s name this weekend. “Both of them have raced at Hoosier Park before and done well,” Bellino said. “Tony pointed out to me that ‘Baby Doll’s’ race was a track record when he showed me the winners’ photo. I planned on supplementing her to the Breeders Crown, but that performance in the Ontario Sire Stakes final (10th) can be thrown right out. Something got her all worked up behind the gate, she broke and everything just went wrong for her, which is not like her at all. After what happened in the Breeders Crown, Tony and I were Monday morning quarterbacks because we were saying, ‘what if we had put her in’ but hindsight is 20/20 and she was excellent at Hoosier last week. I expect her to race well this weekend. “With You’re Majestic, we just thought she would perform a bit better. Not that she has been bad at all, but she is definitely not as strong as ‘Baby Doll’ and just did not seem to advance from two to three.” Muscle Baby Doll is a daughter of Muscle Mass and the Yankee Glide mare Have You Ever. She is the third foal from her dam, who won a $103,938 Simcoe Stakes division in 2004, was third in the Buckette, and fourth in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $325,000 Delvin Miller Memorial. She was sold to Swedish interests after this filly was weaned. In her two years of competition, Muscle Baby Doll has collected $387,720, compiled a record of 22-13-4-2 and a mark of 1:52. She has been a model of consistency and a very pleasant surprise for her connections. She really illustrated an incredible amount of potential with a strong second place finish to Danielle Hall in last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. Muscle Baby Doll’s equipment was broken, but she still managed to charge to the line to just miss. This year she rolled along on that win streak until she had an off night in the Elegantimage and came home eighth. She was then second in a $78,750 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and 10th in the Super Final after some unknown disturbance. You’re Majestic has been entered in the same events as her stablemate and while trotting steadily, has been nowhere near as flashy or accomplished. The daughter of Majestic Son and You’re Adorable has earned just under $77,000 in 2015 while coming home fourth in the Super Final and fifth in the Elegantimage. Her lone win of the season came in a non-winners contest in June. “Tony thinks she (Muscle Baby Doll) slipped through the cracks,” said Bellino, who is recognized as a pacer man due to the success of such horses as Rock N Roll Heaven and Pet Rock. “She went really late in the sale and he thinks people just were not paying attention to her. It does happen, but trust me we paid a lot more than $5,000 for her. “Actually we’ve been offered quite a bit of money for her, but I wouldn’t sell. After the season ends though, I need to sell one of these fillies. It looks like that will be You’re Majestic, but she does get over a half (-mile track) well and Yonkers goes for really good money. “We have had an offer from individuals in Sweden for Baby Doll, but I really need to think about it. Tony absolutely loves her and does not want me to sell her, but it’s hard for a 4-year-old to race against males and other older horses. Look how good Bee A Magician is and what her 4-year-old season was like. I have a lot to consider and plan on thinking long and hard about what to do. Especially since we don’t normally part with many horses, especially if they are stakes horses.” How Carroll and Rick Huffman came to take Muscle Baby Doll home for only $5,000 remains a mystery, but Bellino knows one thing, he is thrilled he took a chance on her. “I think she can compete with anyone,” he said. “If we don’t sell her to the Swedish interests we will keep her and breed her. Her pedigree is outstanding and she has already proven her class and toughness. When I told Tony I bought her, he asked me if we were now in the 2-year-old trotting filly business and was not sold on her, but now she is his favorite trotter out of all he has had. I didn’t think I wanted her and she showed me I was wrong.” The Crossroads Of America PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-I'm So Fancy-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3-1 2-Muscle Baby Doll-David Miller-Trent Stohler-5-2 3-Smokinmombo-Aaron Merriman-Christopher Beaver-10-1 4-Livininthefastlane-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8-1 5-Fox Valley Yoko-John De Long-Curt Grummel-30-1 6-Churita-Trace Tetrick-Matt Rheinheimer-8-1 7-Armatrading-Mark O'Mara-Mark O'Mara-30-1 8-Speak To Me-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-6-1 9-Bright Baby Blues-Tim Tetrick-Bob Stewart-4-1 10-You're Majestic-Yannick Gingras-Trent Stohler-15-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Tony Herlihy is hoping to put two more pickets on the fence. One Over Da Moon has now strung together seven wins on the trot after his upset win in Monday's Group III Trotters Flying Mile at Ashburton Raceway. Punters showed little interest in the son of Majestic Son who drifted out to $9.10 on the tote. Formally trained by Paul Nairn, One Over Da Moon has been in blistering form at Alexandra Park but he has not been beating quality fields.  But what he has been doing is winning from 40 and 50 metre handicaps and because of that, Herlihy fells he was possibly a little underrated heading into Ashburton. "He's been in great form but this was a step up," Herlihy said after his perfect front running drive. The Papakura trainer plans to back One Over Da Moon up in both the Group I NZ free-for-all over 1950m on cup day and the Group I Dominion Handicap three days later. "Sometimes he can be a bit funny when he's on the fresh side so I think we will head to both days." Herlihy essentially stole the race after he pinched a break turning for home and One Over Da Moon just kept on giving. Stent, the $1.50 favourite, charged forward from three back in the running line but could not make up enough ground.  Such was Stent's dominance with punters, just after midday the TAB's Thad Taylor told Radio Trackside there was $20,000 in the win pot with $19,500 of it on Stent. Colin DeFilippi was disappointed not to win the race after finishing half a length behind in second but there is no sign of panic ahead of cup week. DeFilippi said the race panned out in a funny way and admitted he was "out foxed" by Herlihy's cunning drive as he expected the main dangers to be coming from behind him. Stent was coming to the end of his run in the final 100m but DeFilippi is still predicting him to be right on song for the cup week double. Habibti is seemingly back to full health after storming home down the inside to finish three quarters of a length behind Stent in third. Australian trotter Vincennes in the care of Craig and Aimee Edmonds, was satisfactory in fourth and the Edmonds' other runner Kincaslough looked more like her best in sixth. Monbet put in a massive run from the back to finish fifth in his first go at open class company and with a better draw could have easily been a winning chance. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ    -    Check site here

Swedish trotter Daryl Boko could make his first public outing in New Zealand as soon as next week. West Melton harness racing trainer Tim Butt said the six-year-old Majestic Son trotter has continued to thrive in the last few weeks. Daryl Boko is on track for cup week but is still no certainty and Butt said while it would be great to see him racing in the big time so soon, the winner of nine races from 28 starts would not be rushed if he was not ready. "We'll just play if by ear and give him a couple of quiet trials and see how it goes," Butt said. "He'll tell us when he's ready, there's still a bit of fine tuning to go yet but the main things is to go to the trials and work out where we are and what we need to change." If Daryl Boko is ready to go for cup week, Butt said he would be leaning towards racing on only one of the two days. "I'm probably more inclined to go for the Dominion (Handicap) because it's a prestigious race, it's the bigger stake and I think he is a pretty good little stayer. "Generally the French and Swedish trotters are pretty good stayers because they are used to going quick the whole way, the run each half in a minute they don't loiter around, that's just their style of racing," Butt said. In the northern hemisphere Daryl Boko has won over a mile right through to 3100m. Daryl Boko arrived in New Zealand in early August and went straight into work at Butt's Premier Stables after coming out of quarantine. Butt said because the seasons are back to front for Daryl Boko, and it's been a strong relatively cold spring, he has started to develop his winter coat but overall he had acclimatised well. Daryl Boko's last race day start in Sweden was on July 2. Butt has experience with bringing in trotters from the Northern Hemisphere and that was paying dividends with the preparation of Daryl Boko. Scandinavian trotter Peak looked to be the future of Butt's already lengthy trotting legacy when he won his first two starts in the 2013 Group III Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile and the Group I NZ Trotting Free-For-All but picked up a suspensory ligament injury in the Dominion Handicap three days later that ended his racing carer. Peak began a successful stud carer but Butt and many of Peak's syndicate went looking for a replacement and found Daryl Boko. If Butt can bring out Daryl Boko's best form, it would be good enough to challenge the current crop of top liners. Meanwhile, Stent, Master Lavros, Habibti and Kincaslough have all been nominated to return to Addington this week for the Group III Canterbury Park Trotting Cup on Friday. Sheemon, who did not race last week and Alley Way, who has not raced since May, are also in the nominations. Harness jewels winner King Denny will trial at Addington on Tuesday. The Group II Canterbury Classic looks likely to be the strongest pacing field this season, with Smolda resuming to take on Christen Me plus Brilliant Strike, Te Kawau and Ideal Success in the nominations to join the crop that have already contested the Maurice Holmes Vase and Avon City Ford Cup. Mat Kermeen Reproduced with the permission of Stuff NZ   -   Check site here

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